Athletes Bare All in ESPN Body Issue

For an athlete, the body is a temple. ESPN Magazine is giving praise to the power and grace of 24 professional competitors in its annual Body Issue.

Athletes such as football player, Odell Beckham Jr., basketball player, Brittney Griner, and Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin stripped down for a bare photoshoot that captures their most prized possessions.

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(Photos courtesy of ESPN)

“One of the things I love about the Body Issue so much is that it celebrates the bodies that allow us to be successful in our sport,” Coughlin told ESPN. “As a sports fan, I love seeing the differences in body types.”

Now its seventh year, the Body Issue lends admiration to the many physical forms that constitute the world of sports. The collection of nude and semi-nude photographs celebrate humanity’s greatest tool and redefine common perceptions of physical beauty.

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In a culture that’s constantly bombarded with unrealistic examples of what a “nice body” looks like, ESPN gives a refreshing look at the many forms a healthy body can take. Not only does it showcase the muscles that win medals, but the curves, limbs and abnormalities that have caused a lack of confidence in some of the athletes’ pasts.

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“I think it’s important to show that athletes come in all shapes and sizes,” said Olympic hammer thrower, Amanda Bingson, who told ESPN her shape was a target for bullying in school. “Whatever your body type is, just use it.”

Check out all of the photos and their accompanying interviews here!

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