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Hot 20: The Speed Demon

"I love the Marina -- it's so great to bike through Crissy Field. My favorite thing to do is go to breakfast or brunch, so the old Grove was my spot. They had a ski chair in there, so I felt at home."
Photograph by Poby.

HOT. The word carries so many meanings: passionate, sizzling, trendy, intense, and yes, sexy. But for us, it signals our favorite month. Meet the 20 movers and shakers that have us fired up this year.

She wore a tiara on the medal podium, started a sassy line of underwear, and likes to summer in Maui—not the best place for a downhill racer to train—but this year, Olympic alpine skier Julia Mancuso is getting down to business.

“I am a lot more focused on my skiing,” she says. Look out. Mancuso is already the U.S. Ski Team’s best big-race skier, a double silver medalist in Vancouver’s 2010 Games and a breakout gold medalist in the giant slalom in 2006.

Maybe she—like her hometown, Truckee—is still growing into her potential. Mancuso credits the Squaw Valley community for sparking her Olympic desires: “It’s a rad outdoor playground,” she says, “and everyone is really supportive of ski racing.” Her favorite place to ski? The varied terrain off lift K-22. “I spent so many days just taking laps off that one lift and never skiing the same line twice.”

Now, heading into the Sochi Olympics after a 2013 that included a record-extending 16th national championship and fourth place overall in the World Cup, she says, “I’m finally feeling like the one to beat.” We may well see that tiara again in Sochi.