ESPN The Magazine’s second annual “The Body Issue” is out this week.
Last year’s inaugural ESPN The Magazine “The Body Issue” was such a success that the sports magazine brought the collection of photos of mostly nude male and female athletes (covered in strategic areas) celebrating the human body.
This year’s multiple covers features Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury guard and 2009 WNBA MVP; Esther Vergeer, wheelchair tennis Grand Slam champion; the entire US Women’s Water Polo team; and basketball player Amare Stoudemire.
Other top athletes in the issue include tennis player Venus Williams, football player Patrick Willis, pool player Jeanette “The Black Widow” Lee, goalkeeper Tim Howard, baseball player Hanley Ramirez, surfer Kelly Slater, figure skater Evan Lysacek among others.
Though last year’s “The Body Issue” was dubbed as ESPN The Magazine’s answer to Sports Illustrated’s coveted Swimsuit Edition, ESPN The Magazine editor-in-chief Gary Belsky downplays the idea.
Belsky told USA Today blog Game On, “This is not about competing with the Swimsuit Issue…One is mostly models who are in swimsuits. We are only athletes who are often in far less than swimsuits. More importantly, it’s an exploration and a celebration of the athletic form. This is about athletes. The Swimsuit Issue is about swimsuits. It’s certainly been a boon to our business.”