Controversy swirled around the U.S. Olympic ski team this week, after three-time medalist Julia Mancuso said all the media attention focused on teammate—and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model—Lindsey Vonn hurt the rest of the team. Vonn said she was "bummed out" by the remark. The tension got worse after Vonn crashed on the giant slalom, forcing Mancuso, who was skiing behind her, to return to the top of the course and start over. Is this rivalry, which began when the skiers were 12, finally spinning out of control? (Watch a report about the luger who died at the Vancouver Olympics)
This simmering feud may have just boiled over: Lindsey Vonn didn't intentionally "sabotage" Julia Mancuso's downhill run, says the Associated Press, but she might as well have. Mancuso was defending her Olympic downhill title when officials forced her to repeat her grueling run, effectively dashing her medal chances. Mancuso called it "the worst possible thing" that could have happened—that's not something she's likely to forget.
"Vonn-Mancuso rivalry heats up with mishap"
This 'catfight' was scripted: The media desperately wants to believe that Julia Mancuso hates Lindsey Vonn, says The Big Lead. "Who doesn't love a good catfight between two hot Olympic skiers?" Trouble is, Mancuso and Vonn both say they get along fine. The "'feud' between skiing's golden girls" was apparently just a "well-crafted" attempt to "redirect the Olympic spotlight" onto skiing, and away from figure skating and hockey.
"Julia Mancuso vs. Lindsey Vonn: Catfight, scripted, or just a media-created mess?"
The tension was real, but it won't last: For a moment, it really did seem like the "uneasy relationship" between Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso would "burst into all-out war," says Andy Friedlander in The Dallas Morning News. But then, amid the "dizzying whirlwind" of the Olympics, Mancuso found out that her friend, extreme skier C.R. Johnson, had been killed in a skiing accident. The tragedy, along with her impressive haul of two silver medals, were reminders that the spotlight isn't what really matters.
"Remembering what it's all about"