Vonn, Mancuso Reveal Almost Anything to Stay in the Spotlight

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Everybody loves a girl fight. Especially when the girls are wearing bikinis.

The women���s giant slalom course was the stage for drama yesterday when the slope opera starring U.S. skiers Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso continued. Vonn���s dramatic fall during the first run of the GS forced teammate Mancuso to stop her run halfway down. Vonn broke her pinky in the tumble. Mancuso was unable to regain her momentum in her second run and shed tears in frustration���the GS may have been hers to win, and her always-in-the-spotlight teammate had spoiled her chances. Again.

Mancuso���s much-publicized statements about Vonn made to Sports Illustrated this week has the blogosphere panting for more. ���People are having a hard time reaching their potential because it's such a struggle for attention," Mancuso told the magazine on Tuesday. "You come to meetings after races and it's like it's a bad day if Lindsey didn't do well." Now, exchange the word people for Julia Mancuso, and I think we���re getting somewhere.

Vonn, in turn, is ���bummed,��� that her teammate won���t keep her mouth shut.

In this day and age when Olympic success is linked to endorsements, it���s not simply a matter of winning the most medals; it���s about attracting the most media attention. For many female athletes, that requires looking beautiful on and off the course.  Vonn, who���s always stunning in post-race interviews with her tousled, golden tresses and kohl-lined eyes, must have a stylist waiting at the finish line.

Talent is important, but both Vonn and Mancuso understand they must also win the ���swimsuit competition.���

Vonn attracted attention for her sexy tuck pose on a recent cover of Sports Illustrated and then later for an even sexier pose in the celebrated SI Swimsuit Edition. But Mancuso was way a head of her. Mancuso posed in nothing but a black string bikini as the Lange Girl for the ski boot company back in 2007. She has also appeared in Outside magazine in a bikini. Most recently, however, she���s taken to posing in her underwear.

Mancuso is the face (and body) of her new lingerie brand Kiss My Tiara. She sells panties from her website, juliamancuso.com (which has been down all day).

Mancuso and Vonn have been playing down their feud, claiming that it���s been hyped by the media. But, when both athletes have something to sell���whether it���s magazines or underwear���hype can only help.