Vonn and three other U.S. athletes pose for SI, while Jacobellis stays covered up

By Lorenzo Benet
February 16, 2010 08:45 AM
Credit: AP(2)

To keep it on or take it off? That is the question women Olympians face every four years, when the offers pour in to pose in swimsuits – or even less.

This winter is no exception. But America’s two Lindseys – snowboard cross star Jacobellis, 24, and alpine skier Vonn, 25 – are on different courses when it comes to sexy photo shoots.

“I don’t think I would do that now,” Jacobellis, who goes for the gold Tuesday, told PEOPLE in Vancouver. “I get way too many little girls who are crazy about snowboarding coming up to me, asking for autographs and advice, and I want to stay a strong role model for them.”

Vonn, meanwhile, has posed for the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, along with three other U.S. Olympians: snowboarders Hannah Teter and Clair Bidez and ski aerialist Lacy Schnoor.

“I talked about it with my husband, and I looked at what other athletes had done in the past,” says Vonn, a favorite to win the gold in the women’s downhill on Wednesday. “I’m trying as best as I can to promote our sport and make it mainstream.”

Teammate Kaylin Richardson is among those supporting Vonn’s decision. “We have nothing to hide. We’re not being objectified, it’s a celebration,” Richardson says.

Julia Mancuso, gold medalist in the giant slalom in 2006, has taken it a step further. Last week she launched her own lingerie line, Kiss My Tiara, on her personal Web site, where she tastefully poses in a thong.
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“I think it’s great to show off the first thing you put on in the morning and the last thing you take off,” she told a roomful of journalists in Vancouver.

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