Time to hit the gym! ESPN The Magazine released its 2014 Body Issue covers, and this year’s featured athletes include Venus Williams, Michael Phelps, and Prince Fielder—each in the nude.
Tennis champ Williams, 34, looks gorgeous on her cover surrounded by a backdrop of silky white sheets and a powder blue sky filled with clouds. Williams’ lean body and firm booty is showcased in flawless form as she confidently poses with one arm covering her breasts and the other draped atop her head.
“It didn’t dawn on me until right when I walked on set that I would have to be without clothes,” Williams told the mag. “If I would have thought about it before, there may have been a little less of a chance.” The cover girl is not the first Williams family member to pose nude for ESPN—younger sister Serena Williams posed naked for the magazine back in 2009.
Like Williams, 18-time Olympic gold medalist Phelps also poses nude, in his go-to element: The swimming pool. The muscular athlete, 29, who came out of retirement in April 2014, wears goggles and shows off his Speedo tan line on his cover of the Body Issue.
“I got fat and out of shape,” Phelps said of his retirement figure. “It was hard because I had always eaten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. I would always be like, ‘All right, I’ll go work out,’ and I would never ever go. Sure enough, 25 pounds later, I was still saying the same thing. That was just part of my learning process.”
The most buzzworthy cover star of the sixth annual ESPN The Magazine‘s Body issue, however, is baseball pro Prince Fielder, who wields a bat and bares his body with utmost confidence. The Texas Rangers player, 30, listed as 5 feet, 11 inches, and 275 pounds on the Rangers’ official website, shows off his muscular legs in the accompanying shots.
“A lot of people probably think I’m not athletic or don’t even try to work out or whatever, but I do,” Fielder told the mag. “Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t be an athlete. And just because you work out doesn’t mean you’re going to have a 12-pack. I work out to make sure I can do my job to the best of my ability. Other than that, I’m not going up there trying to be a fitness model.”
He joked of his figure, “My dad has big arms, and everyone in my family has them, so it’s just normal in my house. I had them when I was younger too, but obviously there was a little more cholesterol behind them [laughs].”
The publication also selected NBA player Serge Ibaka, football player Marshawn Lynch, and snowboarder and Tinder user Jamie Anderson as its cover stars. Dancing With the Stars runner-up Amy Purdy and boxing great Bernard Hopkins are also featured inside the issue.
ESPN’s Body Issue will hit newsstands on July 11. Tell Us: What do you think of the new nude shots?
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