Sexiest woman alive
Sixty-four women are up for Esquire magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive" award, and one of them is snowboarding's very own Gretchen Bleiler. The women are currently in round one of a six-round, reader-vote bracket contest, which is kind of like an online version of the Thunderdome. Who is Bleiler matched up against in Round 1?
"Did you see the pictures?" said Bleiler, who is competing in Thursday's Winter X Games Europe SuperPipe contest in Tignes, France (ESPN2, 3-4 p.m. ET). "Rihanna's in a dress with her shoulders bared, looking sexy -- and they've got me in a baggy sweater! They definitely didn't do me any favors with that photo."
As to where the photo came from, and how she came to be nominated for the award, "I have no idea," said Bleiler, laughing, adding that she has also been nominated for "Hottest Female Athlete" by Men's Health. She's not sure how that happened, either.
The Men's Health award is also a reader-vote bracket contest, and Bleiler is not wearing a sweater in this photo. Accordingly, she is cleaning up in her matchup against golf star Carling Coffing.
The results of the Rihanna-Bleiler matchup aren't public, but voting ends at midnight Thursday, so you may want to get in there and cast a ballot for the hometown hero before it's too late.
Follow Melissa Larsen on Twitter: @melissalarsen