Talk about a mid-week pick-me-up. ESPN The Magazine gave us a sneak peek of their new “Body Issue,” where a roster of star athletes appear nude or semi-nude (with private parts strategically covered).
Olympic speedskater Apolo Ohno, N.Y. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, gymnast Alicia Sacramone, and Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler are among the 22 athletes who bare their bodies in the 2011 “Bodies We Want” section.
It’s an “exploration and celebration of the athletic form,” editor-in-chief Chad Millman said in a statement.
For his two-page spread, Ohno recreated the movement he makes while on the ice. At the shoot, the speedskater said he was nervous because he wasn’t in peak shape. (If this isn’t peak shape…?)
“It’s not every day that I kind of do speed skating poses without my clothes on,” Ohno said with a laugh at the ESPN shoot.
“For me it’s about showcasing my movement, my body in its most pure form, in its most raw form. Nude obviously, but also because of the fact that it’s in a skating position. I’m moving, I’m thinking about it, I’m visualizing specifically where I am,” Ohno said. “It’s a really cool way to showcase movement and motion, but captured in a still photography setting.”
There are four different covers this year and one of them belongs to Gretchen Bleiler.
N.Y. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, this year’s National League batting champion, also scored a cover.
Finally, an amazing shot of gymnast Alicia Sacramone competing on the bar.
Among the other female athletes revealed in all their glory are soccer star and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Hope Solo, WNBA’s Sylvia Fowles, LPGA rookie Belen Mozo, track and field star Natasha Hastings, hockey player Julie Chu, tennis player Vera Zvonareva, surfer Steph Gilmore, and more.
Other male athletes you can look forward to are NBA’s Blake Griffin, NHL player Ryan Kesler, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, IndyCar racer Helio Castroneves, boxer Sergio Martinez, marathoner Ryan Hall and paralympian Jeremy Campbell.
The third annual “Body Issue” hits newsstands Friday, October 7.