WHISTLER, British Columbia — Lindsey Vonn was asked Wednesday about some mildly disapproving comments her teammate Julia Mancuso said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated. Mancuso lamented the popularity contest aspect of their relationship and Vonn’s impact on the team dynamic.
“Our team is struggling, as a group,” Mancuso told the magazine. “People are having a hard time reaching their potential because it’s such a struggle for attention. You come to meetings after races and it’s like it’s a bad day if Lindsey didn’t do well.”
Said Vonn after the first run of Wednesday’s giant slalom, in which she was leading until she fell: “I try to support Julia as much as I support all the other teammates. I’ve been racing with Julia since I was a little kid and yes, we’re competitors, but I always support her. It definitely has hurt me that she has said some negative things about me. All I can do is to continue to support her the way I always have been and hope that she reciprocates that.”
Mancuso often appears conflicted by her relationship with Vonn, who she has raced against since the two were 12 years old. Last week, Mancuso defended the attention Vonn has received and admitted she may have thrived during the Vancouver Olympics because so much pressure and media attention was focused on Vonn.
“She really does deserve it,” Mancuso said of Vonn after Mancuso won the silver medal in the super combined. “She’s had an incredible career so far, winning two World Cup overalls and having like 30-plus World Cup wins. That’s pretty impressive. So she deserves the attention.”