(Sex sells, looks are everything!)
Let the Lindsey hype begin: Vonn is Sports Illustrated cover girl - Fourth-Place Medal - Olympics Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Lindsey Vonn is hoping the Sports Illustrated cover jinx doesn't cross international borders. America's great Winter Olympic hope is featured on the front of SI's Winter Olympic preview issue, which hit newsstands Wednesday.
Vonn's semi-provocative pose has drawn the predictable ire from those who claim that it objectifies her. She's an athlete, not a sex symbol, the chorus inevitably reminds us. They have a point in taking issue with SI; the magazine rarely features women athletes on the cover and its annual swimsuit issue has been a focus of protests for decades. But Vonn's cover is different.
The pose at least resembles the tuck stance skiers like Vonn take when barrelling down the hill. It's exaggerated, of course, but not gratuitously so. It's not as if SI put her in a bikini in a Whistler hot tub.
Also, this is Vonn's moment. If she wins multiple golds in Vancouver, Vonn has the potential to become a major crossover star. She'd be like Michael Phelps, only with better looks and an actual personality. Landing on the SI cover is a good way for her to start the Vonn saturation campaign. It's as important for her as it is the magazine. The pose is suggestive, sure, but it's not objectifying. The headline reads "America's best woman skier ever", for Jean-Claude's sake! Why can't she be both the best skier in the world and really, really attractive too? Tom Brady's a great athlete and a handsome dude and I don't hear people whine when he's shirtless in GQ.
Most importantly, this cover is almost identical to the one that ran on SI's Winter Olympic preview in 1992. That one featured a gentleman named A.J. Kitt and I'm pretty sure nobody was complaining about that one being too provocative.