A US ski champion has defended throwing her toddler son into a bank of snow so deep that he disappeared from view, after facing criticism of the prank on social media.
Ski star and mother-of-one Julia Mancuso, 36, who lives in
In the short clip, Mancuso is seen holding her smiling son aloft before throwing him into the air. He lands in deep snow and disappears into the powder…before his mother quickly fishes him out.
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Former Olympic ski champion Julia Mancuso, from California, shared a clip of herself throwing her young son, Sonny, one, (pictured with his mother) into deep snow
After throwing her young son into the air he lands feet first into deep powder snow that covers his head – before his mother fishes him out
The clip sees the tot, one, smiling in his mother’s arms before she launches him into the air
While she admitted that she wouldn’t advise other parents to ‘throw their kid into a snowbank’, she said there had been ‘zero risk’ posed to her son.
The boy is seen grinning throughout and is warmly dressed in a snowsuit, hat and gloves but some have said his smile could be masking ‘anxiety’ about the experience.
The former Olympic champion, now retired, faced criticism over whether the stunt was safe from some of the 287,000 people who’ve watched it.
Mancuso told her follows that some had misunderstood the video. She wrote: ‘Sonny loved it- there was zero risk of something being buried in the snow since it happened over the course of a day on our patio – we literally watched the snow fall.’
Sonny is still grinning as he heads for the snow bank; Mancuso has been criticised for the prank but she says they’d watched the snow ‘all day’ and knew it was soft
She added the family had ‘practised’ before saying ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea to through your kid into any snow bank… but when it snows like this! It’s game on.’
Some of those watching the clip admitted that they were shocked by just how deep Sonny was flung into the snow and questioned whether the little boy had enjoyed being covered over his head in snow.
melusinashanti wrote: ‘Poor baby. Sometimes laugh is combined with anxiety. He is too small to say what he really felt.’
tianamichelle09 wrote: ‘I freaked out at first because I didn’t know what was under the snow. I’m born and raised in Florida so I assume this is our equivalent of throwing your kids in the water to teach them how to swim.’
Meldagar posted: ‘He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it at all’.
Mancuso retired from competitive skiing in 2018 having won gold in the giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Olympics, two silvers in 2010, and a bronze medal in 2014.