The Bodies We Want: Our 5 Favorite Athletes from ESPN's The Body Issue

Photos from ESPN the Magazine's fifth annual "Body Issue" were just released, and once again, more than a dozen of the world's top athletes stripped down to the buff in sexy and steamy shoots that pay tribute to their (heavenly) bodies. The issue includes eight different covers and 22 athletes total, including Denver Nuggets player Kenneth Faried, Scottish golfer Carly Booth, soccer player Sydney LeRoux, and, in what some deem a surprise, 77-year-old golfer Gary Player—the oldest athlete to ever appear in one of the "Body" issues.

While each of the athletes shot are positively gawk-worthy (we say it's okay to stare!), five fit athletes in particular caught our eyes. Check out our fave athletes to grace the 2013 Body Issue, then tell us: Whose body do you most admire?

1. Elena Hight. Hight isn't just a two-time Olympic snowboarder. The 23-year-old Hawaii native was also the first woman to land the demanding 900-degree aerial spin in competition when she was just 13.

2. Colin Kaepernick. We're not surprised at all to see that Kaepernick was one of the athletes who landed a cover in this year's Body Issue. A rising star with the NFL, the 49ers quarterback has strength, stamina, and sex appeal in spades.

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3. Marlen Esparza. The first American woman to qualify for the Olympic boxing games in 2012, Esparza isn't just fit—she's super fierce. "This is a big step—not really just for boxing, but for women in general," she told ESPN.

4. Kenneth Faried. Bold statement but I'm sticking to it: Kenneth Faried might be as close to physical perfection as we'll ever get. (Seriously, it's over, everyone else can go home now.) The NBA player, who's nicknamed the "manimal," nabbed one of this year's covers, joining fellow basketball cover stars Dwight Howard (2009), Amar'e Stoudemire (2012), Blake Griffin (2011), and Tyson Chandler (2012).

5. Sydney Leroux. When asked why she wanted to pose nude, the Boston Breakers forward told ESPN, "I think a lot of females struggle with the way they look, and I wanted to show that everyone's body is different. I think it's a big deal to be an athlete and feel confident in your body and show it off. I'm not going to say I've never struggled with how I look, but I've reached a point in my life where I'm happy with who I am."

And don't forget to check out ESPN.com to see all 22 athletes in their naked glory or pick up a copy of the magazine, on newsstands Friday, July 12.

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