Lindsey Vonn: 'Faking' it?

America's most-hyped Winter Olympian is suffering a potentially Games-ending injury... Right?

Lindsey Vonn: 'Faking' it?
(Image credit: (ARBARA GINDL/epa/Corbis))

Lindsey Vonn is the world's best female skier, but is she also a bit of an actress? The American "it" girl of the 2010 Winter Olympics has suggested that a bruised shin may keep her out of the competition. But not everyone's buying her story. Skeptics point out that nagging aches and pains are ubiquitous among skiers, and that Vonn might be using the injury to draw more attention to herself, or as a ready-made excuse for a poor performance. Should the drama-loving skier be taken at her word? (Watch Lindsey Vonn comment on her injury)

This smells like a hoax: Vonn's injury is "a classic example of down-playing out-of-control hype," says Michael Rizzo in Rizzo Sports Weekly. Being toasted as "the Michael Phelps of the Winter Games" before you've even competed is dangerous, so one of her "handlers" probably came up with the bruise as an "excuse should Lindsey not bring home the medals." She can walk fine? No pictures? No X-rays? Sure looks like "faking" it to me.

"Is Lindsey Vonn faking?"

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The skepticism is natural, but unwarranted: Given all the "antics" from over-hyped athletes, "it's only natural to at least wonder if Vonn is overstating her injury," says Sean Gregory in Time. But that kind of scheming doesn't fit with Vonn's "public personality," and she "laughs off" the insinuations. No X-rays? If her shin's broken, she says, she doesn't want to know.

"Will Lindsey Vonn have to drop out of the Games?"

She still has to deliver: Vonn's definitely pumping up the drama, says Phil Sheridan in The Philadelphia Inquirer. But instead a depress-expectations hoax, I'd go with another "cynical" ploy — the "Schilling Effect," or triumphing despite injury, as the Red Sox ace Curt Schilling did, winning a World Series game shortly after ankle surgery. Whatever her "dramatic" story, though, "Vonn really has a nasty bruise" on her shin, and if she gets "a happy ending," she's earned it.

"Vonn arrives for Games, and so does drama"



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