US ski champion Julia Mancuso defends throwing her toddler son into deep snow

A US ski champion has defended throwing her toddler son into snow so deep he disappeared from view after facing criticism on social media.  

Mother-of-one Julia Mancuso, 36, who lives in California with her husband Dylan Fish and young son Sonny, one, was forced to explain how she’d made the video which she posted to her 249,000 followers on Instagram. 

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 above his head…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

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

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

The clip sees the tot, one, smiling in his mother’s arms before she launches him into the air

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.’ 

She added the family had ‘practiced’ 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.    

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

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

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.’ 

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