–Issue Features Six Special Covers: Michael Phelps, Venus Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Prince Fielder, Jamie Anderson, Serge Ibaka —

The sixth annual edition of ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue will feature 22 athletes posing nude, including five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.

The issue, which hits newsstands July 11, is ESPN The Magazine’s annual celebration of the athletic form.

“We somehow manage to raise the bar each year,” said ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com editor in chief Chad Millman. “This year’s collection of exceptional athletes and stunning photography showcases an array of sports and body types. It inhabits our mission to pay tribute to these athletes’ bodies and all they are capable of.”

The list of athletes in this year’s issue also includes Olympic gold-medal-winning snowboarder Jamie Anderson, tennis player Tomas Berdych, Olympic bronze-medal-winning bobsledder Aja Evans, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and U.S. Men’s National Team soccer player Omar Gonzalez, who also plays on the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Also on the list are professional surfer Coco Ho, boxer Bernard Hopkins (the oldest title winner in the sport’s history), cliff diver Ginger Huber, Olympic hockey player Hilary Knight, WNBA All-Star Angel McCoughtry and the husband-wife team of X Games stars Travis Pastrana and Lyn-Z.

Other athletes who posed for the issue include: Amy Purdy, a snowboarder who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics; U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe; Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of the America’s Cup-winning yacht Oracle Team USA; BMX rider Nigel Sylvester; and women’s boxer Danyelle Wolf.

Go here for photo galleries, video, interviews, and more as well as a compilation video featuring the athletes from the 2014 Body Issue.

The Body Issue Features:

Awakening the giant
As his memory fades and his body breaks down, Y.A. Tittle finds solace in family. By Seth Wickersham

Nothing to see here
The team shower is home to celebration, fellowship and naked dance-offs. It’s also welcome to Michael Sam. By David Fleming

Body confidential
The Mag surveyed male and female athletes across a wide variety of sports—football, hockey, baseball, soccer, Olympics—on a host of subjects, ranging from whether body odor has ever affected in-game performance to female athletes’ concerns about their fertility.

About The Body Issue

ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue set out five years ago with one mission: to celebrate the athletic form. The keystone of each annual issue is The Bodies We Want photo portfolio, which features roughly 20 of the world’s most elite athletes posing (tastefully) nude. In years past, The Mag has featured sports icons from Serena Williams and Colin Kaepernick to Candace Parker, Blake Griffin, Hope Solo, Kerri Walsh Jennings (who posed 8 months pregnant!), Apolo Anton Ohno and golf legend Gary Player. ESPN The Magazine has a circulation of 14 million readers, with 2.1 million subscribers.

Follow ESPN The Magazine on Twitter and Instagram (@ESPNmag) and like them on Facebook.

Photo credits:
– Venus Williams photographed by Williams+Hirakawa for ESPN The Magazine
– Serge Ibaka photographed by Peter Hapak for ESPN The Magazine
– Jamie Anderson photographed by Peggy Sirota for ESPN The Magazine
– Marshawn Lynch photographed by Carlos Serrao for ESPN The Magazine
– Michael Phelps photographed by Carlos Serrao for ESPN The Magazine
– Prince Fielder photographed by Alexei Hay for ESPN The Magazine

Contact: Carrie Kreiswirth 860-766-6042

ESPN Body Issue 2015 Cover Photos And Pictures

Why Is This Important

Because there isn’t any better #MondayMotivation than the ESPN Body Issue.

Long Story Short

The ESPN Body Issue, which celebrates the bodies of famous athletes with stunning nearly-naked photographs, was reveled online today.

Long Story

If you’re looking for fitness inspiration today, the cover stars of ESPN Magazine’s seventh annual Body Issue are fit to be your #MondayMotivation.

ESPN revealed the covers and some choice photos online today ahead of the official release of the issue, which hits stands on Friday.

Featured on the covers are Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Olympic runner/jumper Chantae McMillan, Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper and track and field star Amanda Bingson.

Inside the issue are stunning photoshoots documenting every enviable ripple and curve of these powerful athletes’ bodies. In addition to the cover stars, the issue also features Ali Krieger, star defensewoman for the now three-time world cup champion U.S. women’s soccer team; golfer Sadena Parks; Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin; WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner; Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman; skateboarder Leticia Bufoni; professional basketball player DeAndre Jordan and more.

“It’s important to show your vulnerabilities. I’m proud of my body, I’m proud of my sport, I’m proud of being a female athlete. Being naked is just another aspect of that. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s honest,” Krieger told ESPN.

ESPN Body Issue: Ali Krieger pic.twitter.com/aDSPC1kCMI

— The Ugly Duckling (@Why_Tacos) July 6, 2015

@xgames The 2015 #BodyIssue is now LIVE! Click the link on our profile page to check it out. @espn pic.twitter.com/iFC8XqmuhY

— Leticia Bufoni (@LeticiaBufoni) July 6, 2015

On Twitter, fans are already gushing about their favorite pics.

ok @NatalieCoughlin looks AMAZING in @espn Body Issue and she also proves the tan line struggle is REAL for swimmers pic.twitter.com/k9R6P3xmw6

— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) July 6, 2015

#MCM for sure Tyler Seguin in ESPN body issue pic.twitter.com/wEOrB8OOzr

— Callie Agnew (@CallieAvsAgnew) July 6, 2015

Bryce Harper says he’s not satisfied with is abs. Rough life. http://t.co/yqCawl1eWi pic.twitter.com/2a1rIgZGzP

— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) July 2, 2015

Kevin Love in ESPN Body Issue #ForTheLadies (Photos) http://t.co/6IlzzwD6CE pic.twitter.com/fWOOzbQhQY

— Robert Littal (@BSO) July 6, 2015

The newest member of the #Mavs DeAndre Jordan (@deandrejordan6) featured in the new @ESPNMag body issue. pic.twitter.com/Dy879CBALT

— NBA On Def Pen (@NBAOnDefPen) July 6, 2015

Olympic champ @Aly_Raisman killin’ it in @espn the magazine’s #bodyissue pic.twitter.com/HPWl98Ppv0

— Emily Hejlik (@Emily_Hejlik) July 6, 2015

This is so dope!!!! #USATF Olympians @AmandaBingson & @chan_taemac are on 2 of them! pic.twitter.com/OQtXkl1Rt1

— QuantumLeapFitness (@ZeusDaGreat91) July 6, 2015

Check out more pictures and details from the interviews on the ESPN website.

Own The Conversation

Ask The Big Question:

How many hours of training does it take to get a body like these athletes’?

Disrupt Your Feed:

ESPN’s Body Issue is out. Time to hit the gym.

Drop This Fact:

ESPN’s Body Issue has been around since 2009.

Expand Your Expertise

  • ESPN unveils all six covers from the 2015 Body Issue

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ESPN the Magazine’s 2014 Body Issue Celebrates Different Physiques

ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue has always been an impressive feat in diversity. Both men and women pose nude for the photo shoots, and neither gender is objectified. Rather, the magazine is careful to celebrate the many different types of bodies that result from being in peak physical condition: sometimes that means slim waists for girls and large muscles for guys, but not always. Some athletes need larger leg muscles to propel themselves across a field, a court or ice. Others need to build their upper bodies for weightlifting. Some have tan lines from training outside, some tattoos and some scars.

The result: very different-looking forms, though admittedly all impressive. Julie Chu, who was in the 2011 issue, told TIME earlier this year, “I think that issue really highlights that there’s a lot of different types of bodies for elite athletes, and all of them can be beautiful and strong and confident.”

This year’s selection in particular offers a wide range of male and female athletes, including (in order below) Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Texas Ranger first baseman Prince Fielder, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.

And those are just the athletes on the covers. Here are some other athletes inside the pages:

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Olympic snowboarder Amy Purdy:

World Cup soccer player Omar Gonzalez:

Olympic hockey player Hilary Knight:

World Tour surfer Coco Ho:

See the full slide show here.

Most Popular on TIME

Write to Eliana Dockterman at [email protected]

What Prince Fielder and ESPN the Magazine’s ‘Body Issue’ say about us

July 9, 2014

For the past five years, ESPN the Magazine has published its Body Issue, part aspirational — its tagline is “bodies we want” — part celebratory catalog of athletic fortitude. And each year, the magazine seems to be met with a confused response from those who see the issue as little more than equal-opportunity cheesecake masquerading as high photography. It takes heat for either being objectifying or for perpetuating unrealistic body ideals in the same vein as the fashion glossies.

But this year, its sixth, the breakout star of the Body Issue is Prince Fielder, the chubby-cheeked first baseman for the Texas Rangers. Completely nude and clutching a baseball bat, Fielder, 5-feet-11-inches tall, made a distinct impression in contrast with images from Serge Ibaka or Larry Fitzgerald, who were more in line with da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. And thus, #HuskyTwitter, a paean to the more rotund among us, was born.

Me too RT @SKEJayRogers Still repping #HuskyTwitter…. pic.twitter.com/DFitibM5FA

— Corporate Thug (@cubicle_bc) July 9, 2014

Prince Fielder got me feeling like I can accomplish it all today. #HuskyTwitter — New Testament (@KooolAidPapi) July 8, 2014

That skinny dude you like doesn’t have a warm pillow on his abs for you to lie down on after a long day. #HuskyTwitter

— Detroit O (@BlameOtis) July 8, 2014

The body ideals set by fashion magazines via the models in their employ, set off with airbrushing and judiciously applied Photoshopping, come fully packaged with messages about wealth, class and gender. The elite still strive for a well-bred, meticulously curated air of patrician nobility: You should be slender, but not sinewy, toned but not overly muscular. If you’re a woman, evidence that you are in the possession of working sets of quadriceps or hamstrings should be kept at a minimum. Men should resemble polo players, not NFL linebackers.

ESPN’s Body Issue is decidedly more democratic. Its photographs are a visual testament to unforgiving training regimens, sacrifice, passion and commitment that isn’t always rewarded with multimillion-dollar contracts or endorsement deals. They illustrate the diversity of body types among those who call themselves athletes, from gymnasts who are tiny, explosive cannonballs of power to massively strong NFL offensive linemen. Not everyone need look like an Adonis to perform physical feats most of us would find impossible. It’s a celebration of the human body and its ability to continually bypass the limitations of our species; a PhD in wearing couture is not a prerequisite for inclusion.

Particularly with women, the Body Issue has the power to subvert ideas about the way we envision and define femininity, whether it be with boxer Danyelle Wolf’s admirably toned biceps or the wiry litheness of cliff diver Ginger Huber. It also challenges the dominant perceptions of athletes such as sailors, who need quick reflexes, flexibility and strength to power through a grueling haul like the Transpacific Yacht Race. The race also demands the crew sleep in shifts, as the boat never stops moving during the course of the 2,560-mile dash from California to Hawaii.

Certainly, we should be wary of over-idealizing sports when it comes to determining what humans should look like. Its communities are just as capable of breeding and fostering eating disorders and unhealthy body image problems — present in track and field, jockeying, wrestling, figure skating, gymnastics, triathlon and a host of other sports — usually perpetuated by overzealous coaches. But the Body Issue serves to disprove the notion that you must look a certain way to reach the apex of your sport. Remember when Jason Whitlock penned a column admonishing Serena Williams — get this — for being too fat? If your serve is more than 100 mph, what difference does it make whether you have a bikini bridge or a thigh gap?

ESPN the Magazine’s body issue hits newsstands July 11.


Prince Fielder. (Alexei Hay for ESPN The Magazine)

ESPN Body

ESPN the Magazine’s BODY Issue was born in October of 2009 with a singular mission: to celebrate the incredible power of the athletic form. With the help of 20 brave athletes — including Serena Williams, Adrian Peterson and Dwight Howard — and an equally elite group of photographers, the debut issue immediately established itself as a cultural force.

Since then, BODY has evolved into more than a stunning annual portfolio of images — it’s become a powerful storytelling platform, a trusted forum for athletes to share not only their strengths, but also their vulnerabilities. There have been many milestones along the way: Olympic volleyball icon Kerri Walsh Jennings posing for the issue in 2013 while eight months pregnant. Transgender duathlete Chris Mosier sharing his powerful transitioning story with the world in 2016. Paralympic rower Oksana Masters daring to pose without her prosthetic legs in 2012. Golf legend Gary Player, in 2013, proving you can still have ripped abs at age 77.

Over the past 11 years, through thousands of photographs of more than 200 athletes, ESPN’s BODY franchise has helped change the way people think about the athletic form. It’s driven and shaped the conversation around what athletes look like and what it means to have a body that is perfect for your sport. It’s inspired a deeper appreciation for what our bodies are capable of, the power they possess, the flaws they force us to accept, what they can overcome and where they can take us. It’s a dialogue that we are proud of, and one we are committed to continuing in the years to come.

Related

ESPNMag/instagram

ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue is quite possibly the most anticipated sports magazine release of the year. With the world’s best athletes presented in all their glory, it is easy to understand why.

The Body Issue won’t hit newsstands until July 11, but ESPN and USA Today have released several images in advance to make the wait a bit easier.

Snowboarder Jamie Anderson, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, swimmer Michael Phelps, Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and tennis star Venus Williams were the lucky six chosen to grace the varying covers of the magazine, which will be distributed nationwide, per ESPN The Magazine’s Instagram account:

Here is a full listing of all the athletes who can be seen when the magazine is officially released:

2014 ESPN The Magazine Body Issue Athletes
Athlete Sport
Venus Williams Tennis
Michael Phelps Swimming
Marshawn Lynch Football
Prince Fielder Baseball
Serge Ibaka Basketball
Jamie Anderson Snowboarding
Tomas Berdych Tennis
Aja Evans Bobsledding
Larry Fitzgerald Football
Omar Gonzalez Soccer
Coco Ho Surfing
Bernard Hopkins Boxing
Ginger Huber Cliff Diving
Hilary Knight Hockey
Angel McCoughtry Basketball
Travis Pastrana and Lyn-Z Motocross and Skateboarding
Amy Purdy Snowboarding
Megan Rapinoe Soccer
Jimmy Spithill Yachting
Nigel Sylvester BMX
Danyelle Wolf Boxing
ESPN.com

The Body Issue is something that can be celebrated by all sports fans due largely to its equality, as Grantland’s Molly Lambert points out:

Williams’ photo was released during the lead-up to Wimbledon, where she lost to eventual champion Petra Kvitova in the third round. Venus may have had an opportunity to go all the way and win her sixth career Wimbledon title had she beaten Kvitova. This photo courtesy of ESPN The Magazine on Twitter captures her physique:

Venus wasn’t the only tennis player to go from the court to the pages of the Body Issue, though, as fifth-ranked men’s star Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic bared it all as well:

Jamie Anderson captivated American sports fans at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, when she took gold in slopestyle snowboarding. The 23-year-old has maintained that momentum ever since and is likely to increase her popularity even more by virtue of her cover.

In addition to the cover shot, ESPN The Magazine caught Anderson in several other poses, including this one, courtesy of X Games:

This photo from Fox 4 News shows the functional body that has helped Fielder become one of the most consistent power threats in baseball:

As seen in this tweet courtesy of Phelps’ official Twitter account, he seems quite comfortable in his natural underwater environment:

Athletes are naturally competitive, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a rivalry is developing between cover boys. Lynch is among the best running backs in the NFL, but he insists he could have given Phelps a run for his money had he pursued swimming instead, according to Morty Ain of ESPN The Magazine.

“Michael Phelps wouldn’t have been on the Wheaties box if I stuck with swimming,” Lynch said. “I’ve been swimming since I was a little kid. I still swim. I’m the best. I am Olympic caliber right now, hell yeah.”

Lynch has done quite well for himself in the sport of football, though, and boasts a body that every running back dreams of having, as evidenced by this tweet from NFL on ESPN:

Even if Lynch is overestimating his swimming abilities to some degree, there is no doubt that he and the rest of the cover athletes are capable of doing pretty much anything they put their minds and bodies to.

That much is true of world champion boxer Bernard Hopkins, who continues to excel at the sport’s highest level despite being 49 years of age. Even though Hopkins is just shy of the half-century mark, this photo from USA Today makes it quite clear that he looks better than ever:

Hopkins is defying age, while Paralympic star Amy Purdy is defying science. Purdy has become an elite athlete while wearing two prosthetic legs. She became a bronze medalist in snowboard cross at the 2014 Paralympic Games and has a body that rivals anyone else featured in the Body Issue, as this ESPN The Magazine Instagram photo showcases:

Perhaps no team created more unity among American sports fans in recent memory than the United States men’s national soccer team. The Yanks fell to Belgium in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup, but they created plenty of exciting moments.

Center-back Omar Gonzalez was instrumental in their run and showed off his tools of the trade for the Body Issue, as seen in this photo from his personal Twitter account:

All 22 featured athletes bring something different to the table and have different looks that allow them to excel in their respective disciplines. That is what makes the Body Issue so unique.

Every sport requires different physical abilities in order to be among the best. The Body Issue makes that quite evident and likely inspires many to be the best they can physically while also appreciating what they have been blessed with.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

ESPN Body Issue 2014 Releases Pictures Of Featured Athletes

by Josh Helmuth Jul 8th, 2014

In competition with Sports Illustrated’s famous Swimsuit Issue over the last several years has been ESPN the Magazine’s mildly controversial Body Issue. Each year the magazine has a few gimmicks, whether revealing a stunning body sure to drop the jaws of even the most prudent of readers, or by showing off an ‘athletic’ body that leaves us making this face…

ESPN chose six cover athletes this year: Snowboarder Jamie Anderson, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, swimmer Michael Phelps, Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and tennis star Venus Williams.

Taking the gold medal in the stunner category is snowboarder Jamie Anderson.

Yes. Incredible. The images that actually make this magazine worth a few bucks.

Then there’s Prince Fielder’s cover photo….

Just keep working on your rehab so you can start hitting home runs again there, Prince.

Related: Behind-The-Scenes Of Kate Upton’s Zero Gravity Swimsuit Shoot

Other athletes included in the Body Issue to be released Friday include:

Tomas Berdych, Tennis
Aja Evans, Bobsledding
Larry Fitzgerald, Football
Omar Gonzalez, Soccer
Coco Ho, Surfing
Bernard Hopkins, Boxing
Ginger Huber, Cliff Diving
Hilary Knight, Hockey
Angel McCoughtry, Basketball
Travis Pastrana and Lyn-Z, Motocross and Skateboarding
Amy Purdy, Snowboarding
Megan Rapinoe, Soccer
Jimmy Spithill, Yachting
Nigel Sylvester, BMX
Danyelle Wolf, Boxing

View more featured pics on ESPN’s website – http://espn.go.com/espn/bodyissue

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

The unfinished body: The medical and social reshaping of disabled young bodies

Stories about disability are heavily shaped by the narratives offered by medicine and society. Those narratives enact an ‘anomalous’ body that is constructed as distant from the norm and therefore ‘damaged’ but also fixable. In this paper we explore how such narratives, and the practices they encompass, influence the stories disabled young people tell about their bodies and impairment. We do so by drawing on narrative qualitative interviews and visual practices carried out with seventeen disabled young people in a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council that took place between 2011 and 2012 in the North East of England. The findings discussed here focus on how medical and societal responses to bodily difference become part of the stories disabled young people tell about their bodies, and influence the way they work with the body as something which remains ‘unfinished’ and therefore both fixable and flawed. Our conclusion is that a narrative of an unfinished body is produced, as young people manage their bodies as something that is integral to their emerging identity, but also as a potential threat that could undermine and give away their labour in making an ‘ordinary’ functioning body and life. The paper contributes to medical sociology and sociology of the body by producing new knowledge about how disabled embodiment is lived and framed by disabled young people in the context of ongoing attempts to change the body.

The body issue 2014

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