We love seeing healthy, fit celebs portrayed in positive ways in the media, so what better way to do that than to appear in the annual ESPN The Magazine, a publication dedicated to sports? This morning, the magazine released a sneak preview of its 2011 "body" issue, where a slew of star athletes appear on the cover and in the magazine nude and covered only by strategically placed props. While a lot of fit (and hot!) athletes agreed to appear in the issue, there are a few in particular we're really excited about! Here are our favorite fit athletes appearing in the ESPN body issue:
1. Hope Solo. The pro soccer player and Dancing with the Stars contestant said she was nervous to appear in the magazine naked, comparing it to the nerves she feels right before a big match. Solo maintains that she doesn't have a personal trainer or nutritionist, but she recently told US Weekly that when "taking care of your body is how you make your paycheck, it becomes an everyday lifestyle."
2. Apolo Ohno. The olympic speedskater admitted at his photo shoot that he was nervous about appearing in a two-page editorial spread naked, because he wasn't in "peak shape." Umm...I'm sorry, what? If this isn't peak shape, then what is?
3. Gretchen Bleiler. The pro snowboarder said that she'd been asked twice before to appear on the cover of the magazine's body issue, but that she had turned down the offer both times before deciding to say yes. What changed her mind? "I love the way ESPN is celebrating athletes in every shape and size and showing them being strong and powerful. I love that it's not about being sexy," she said at her photo shoot.
4. Steph Gilmore. Four-time world surfing champion Steph Gilmore spends most of her time on the beach wearing almost nothing, so when asked to pose nude in this year's body issue, she thought, "Why not?" This beach babe admits that like everyone, she has some insecurites about her body, but that she's become much more confident about herself in recent years. We think she looks great!