Jaelyn Allen | Staff Writer
This year’s lineup for ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue” includes sports icons such as tennis champion Venus Williams, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, U.S. women’s soccer star Ali Krieger and Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Since the first Body Issue in 2009,the publication’s popularity has continually increased. The objective of the yearly issue is to celebrate chiseled bodies, healthy lifestyles and the uniqueness of each individual athlete featured. Every year, they feature a variety of athletes of different ages and from all walks of life. This 2015 issue has Olympians, NFL players, and even athletes who compete in field hockey, archery, and rugby.
Of the 24 featured athletes, only six are chosen to grace the covers of the Body Issue. “We have 10 possible covers,” said the Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Chad Millman. “We’ll choose six covers, and we’ll be upset about all the ones we don’t get to choose.” Love, Beckham Jr., Washington Nationals’ star Bryce Harper; and Olympians Natalie Coughlin, Amanda Bingson and Chantae McMillan were the chosen ones.
ESPN The Magazine has no problem finding athletes who want to bare it all for this annual issue. “We have a lot of athletes who come to us and say, ‘We’re dying to be in the Body Issue,’ which is a great thing, a great position to be in,” said the Magazine’s Deputy Editor Neely Lohmann. “You would always like to get your Lebron, people like Venus Williams, who is someone I always wanted and she did it last year.”
The athletes chosen to be in this issue bare not only their perfectly chiseled bodies but also talk about their insecurities. Natalie Coughlin recalls, “There were times when I wasn’t happy with my body, but I always knew that I was really fit and that it was what allowed me to be successful in the pool.”
Bryce Harper offers some great dieting advice. “Either you put crap into your body and feel lazy all day, or you put good stuff into your system and you feel great every single day.” Amanda Bingson also shares a very valuable quote about loving your body type. “Whatever your body type is, just use it. There are definitely things that I can do that skinnier people can’t do. But then there are things that skinnier people can do that I’ll never be able to do, like run a marathon. There’s just no way that will ever happen.”
ESPN The Magazine’s 2015 Body Issue is full of great, positive body-centric quotes from amazing athletes. As of July 6, the issue was made available online and is on newsstands now.