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Julia Mancuso: ‘My grandpa is smiling down at me from heaven’

Sochi Olympics Alpine Skiing Women

United States’ Julia Mancuso makes a turn in the downhill portion of the women’s supercombined at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Luca Bruno

U.S. skier Julia Mancuso dedicated her outstanding downhill combined performance to her grandfather Denny Tuffanelli on Monday.

Tuffanelli died at age 83 on Feb. 3, 2013.

Mancuso, 29, is going for her fourth Olympic medal. The slalom portion of the super-combined is coming up at 6 a.m. ET. While she has a strong lead, it’s not a foregone conclusion that she’ll end up on the podium.

It sounds like a proud moment for the U.S. skier regardless, though.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins