It's that special time of year when ESPN The Magazine treats us to their "Body Issue", featuring some of the most talented and finely cut athletes out there. There are 22 athletes presented this year, with 11 of them representing the United States at the Summer Olympics. Note: This post is best viewed while listening to CSS's "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex."
Cover girl Ronda Rousey isn't the first female MMA fighter featured in the issue, and the 5'6 beauty says people tend to have some misconceptions about girls in the cage. "Female fighters are not intense or aggressive. They're way calmer than other girls. They're more like hippies than warriors."
Making a well appreciated appearance is Carlos Bocanegra, captain of the United States Men's National Soccer team. If you want to catch some serious feels, check out the video of Carlos' shoot for the mag from ESPN. (If only the camera had panned down just a couple of inches.)
The gorgeous ladies of the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team. Opposite Destinee Hooker, standing at the far right, has the nickname of "Inspector Gadget" because of how far she can hit a set.
Gymnast Danell Leyva won the U.S. Olympic trails, earning an automatic bid to London. Although his 5'7" frame is small, it helps when it comes to competitions. When asked about the most impressive thing he could do with his body, "I'm also pretty flexible. As a male gymnast, you lose a lot of flexibility as you grow up, but I'm still pretty flexible." I bet you are.
Basketball phenom Candace Parker had a daughter back in 2009 but you couldn't tell looking at her photo. She said she thought posing for the mag again would be a "fun and great opportunity" because "It's nice to see the body transform. I hope I can send a message that if you work hard, you can come back just as good as before."
Possibly my favorite group of photos comes from New England Patriot's Tight End (insert joke here) Rob Gronkowski. He has fun with some pinatas, and a pair of Hulk Hands but the smiley face pillow really does it. He decided to pose nude for ESPN because his favorite NBA player Blake Griffin did. God bless Blake.
Perhaps the most inspiring one comes from Oksana Masters. Originally from the Ukraine, she will be competing for the U.S. in mixed doubles rowing at the Paralympics. She is a bilateral above knee amputee due to birth defects and will compete with Rob Jones, a fellow bilateral above knee amputee who lost his legs in Afghanistan.
The "Body Issue" is already on newsstands where you can pick up all six covers.
Written by: Brittani
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