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U.S. skier makes history

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Julia Mancuso's silver medal in the women's super combined downhill Friday was her third medal in consecutive seasons.

Julia Mancuso’s silver medal in the women’s super combined downhill Friday was her third medal in consecutive seasons.

Agence Zoom, Getty Images

ARE, Sweden — Julia Mancuso added a silver medal to her growing collection and made U.S. skiing history. Anja Paerson was golden again on her homeland's slopes.

Mancuso became the first American skier to medal at major competitions in three straight seasons, capturing second place behind Paerson in the women's combined race Friday at the world championships.

Mancuso collected two bronze medals at the last world championships in Bormio, Italy, two years ago and gold in the giant slalom at last year's Torino Olympics. She tied Christin Cooper and Tamara McKinney with four medals, and moved one behind Picabo Street's record five among U.S. women.

"I just have a nice little box at home where I collect them," Mancuso said. "It's definitely interesting and fun to learn the history of past American racers and join in."

Mancuso's haul is nothing compared to that of Paerson, a Swede who has won both events so far at these world championships. Paerson, who also won the super-giant slalom on Tuesday, had struggled this season to regain her form after knee surgery.

"Everybody knows how my season has been, so coming in and skiing so well in the speed events, it's unbelievable," Paerson said. "I'm so ahead of myself when I ski at the moment. I'm maybe one or two gates ahead already and just playing with the terrain and having fun out there."

Paerson's victory was her sixth world title, and it gave her a total of 13 major championship medals — five at the Olympics and eight at the worlds. That's even more than Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark, who shares the Arctic hometown of Tarnaby with Paerson.

Mancuso moved up from third after the downhill leg and finished 0.81 seconds behind. Marlies Schild of Austria took the bronze medal, climbing from 10th after the downhill with the fastest slalom leg. She finished 0.85 back.

Mancuso has now won medals in three different events.