Since 2009, ESPN has published “The Body Issue”on a yearly basis, a magazine in which athletes pose naked (or mostly naked) so that everyone can feel just a bit worse about their own bloated, couch-ridden existence. The purpose of the issue is not actually that, its really aimed at demonstrating what some of nature’s most finely tuned machine look like.
Athletes from both genders, who play sports across the spectrum from NFL to the Paralympics are in these issues, usually handling the objects of their game, but sometimes just awkwardly standing in a field or on a beach. Obviously they aren’t completely naked but as a general rule, all the goods are covered. However, there is still plenty of skin and the contents of the issue are comparable to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Unlike the swimsuit edition, ESPN’s yearly offering has men, which is a smart way to maximize magazine sales. How many women are lining up to buy the SI: Swimsuit Edition? The answer is likely very few. It’s doubtful that the genders are equally represented for The Body Issue’s buyers, but logic indicates that inclusion of both male and female opens up the the market to a larger group of potential consumers. Enough of economical pondering, and on to the goods.
This article will count down the hottest fifteen female pictures from the last six years of this glorious publication. For those of you who are familiar, please feel free to enthusiastically belch any names we forgot into the comments section. For those of you that are insulted or sad that men weren’t included, I’m a heterosexual male writer, and am the wrong person to judge male nudes. At TheSportster, we have many female writers and one of them is more than welcome to do a male equivalent to this list.
15. Stephanie Gilmore
If the world had more gorgeous, blonde, Aussie surfers, there would be less war. This may not prove true but it couldn’t hurt to try. Stephanie Gilmore began her surfing career back in 2007 and has become one of the best of all-time in her craft. The six-time surfing world champion posed for The Body Issue back in 2011, and well, look for yourself. Nothing needs to be said, but we’ll say it anyway. A beautiful, fit, woman with a great smile, lying bare on a beach.
14. Serena and Venus Williams
Two of the best female tennis players of all time come in at number fourteen on our list. We could have listed them separately but two for the price of one and so on. Tennis players are among the fittest athletes out there and these two are the epitome of that aspect of the game. Both have been sprinting around the court professionally for over a decade now and can still hit the ball like no two women out there. They graced The Body Issue in different years but both were absolute aces.
13. Carly Booth
Whoever first coined the phrase “if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap” may have been talking about this beautiful Scottish golfer. Booth has two professional wins on the LPGA and was in the 2013 Body Issue. Because of golf terminology there are some easy puns and jokes that can be made here. Our top choices would involve balls, woods, a stroke, and of course, “improving her lie.” Her tattoo, “It’s not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves” is a Shakespeare line, and while it’s pretty much irrelevant to golf, there is something decidedly hot about a woman with a tattoo.
12. Alicia Sacramone
Our number twelve is married to one of the NFL’s biggest letdowns; Brady Quinn. She now goes by Alicia Quinn, and whatever name one wishes to call her, she is one of the most successful gymnasts in U.S. history. Standing just 5’1, she is the complete definition of “fun-sized” and with regard to her appearance in the 2011 Body Issue, flexibility is one of the first words that comes to mind.
11. Coco Ho
The now 23-year old surfer is one of the best looking in a sport known for great looking, fit women. Born in Hawaii, she started surfing at a young age and never stopped. She is a fan favorite in the sport and has many victories since the start of her professional career back in 2005. Her photo-shoot in last year’s Body Issue was just fantastic, featuring the lovely Hawaiian in the water enjoying the sun on a board. Oh and she was not clothed, that part is important.
10. Elena Hight
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, female snowboarders are something special. In keeping with our brief tangent of Hawaiian ladies, snowboarder Elena Hight’s photo from the 2013 edition is worthy of thunderous applause. There is something to be said for a beautiful redhead with a great body, but the lack of a snow suit and the fact that she’s standing next to a barbecue makes for a truly memorable picture. Welcome back to pun country, we wouldn’t mind exploring her hills and slopes.
9. Lolo Jones
Taking a trip back to the first edition of this glorious series, Lolo Jones was in the Body Issue for 2009. The Olympic and Winter Olympic athlete (track and field and bobsledding) is not only an amazing competitor, she is also a poster-worthy example of beauty. She is one of the most accomplished hurdles sprinters in US history but was also a gold medal winner at the 2013 bobsleigh World Championship.
8. Courtney Force
Another gem from the 2013 edition, drag racer Courtney Force didn’t have to “force” her way onto this list, she was welcomed. Force is an elite drag racer and holds the record for the most wins by a female racer. The gorgeous blond driver posed with her helmet, a parachute, a tire and a gas can, looking like absolute perfection each time. It goes without saying that she can really get a guy’s motor running.
7. Hilary Knight
While the world may go nuts for snowboarders and surfers, many men have a special place in their hearts for hockey players. It may be a weird thing to say but there is something indescribably hot about a girl who can fire a puck at someone’s head. Hilary Knight is one of the United States’ finest female hockey players, but she looks better and better as the gear comes off. Cute eyes, long brown hair and a killer smile go great with a body like that.
6. Kim Glass
American volleyball star Kim Glass is our number six. The 6’2 outside hitter who won silver in Beijing has a body that is worthy of a spot in ESPN’s pages any day. While in University, she was challenged by some hoops players to dunk (including Mike Bibby and Richard Jefferson) and she threw down a monster dunk on her first try. She now plays in Brazil, after participating in leagues ranging from Asia to Europe. While 6’2 may be taller than plenty of men out there, there’s nothing wrong with an Amazon every now and again.
5. Maya Gabeira
After a hockey player, a volleyball player, a racer, and a multisport athlete, we finally get back to the surfers. We know you all missed the surfers. We’ve discussed an American and an Aussie so far, but now we have a Brazilian, and they’re generally pretty hot right?
This stunning babe from Rio hit the pages of the Body Issue back in 2012 and completely killed it. While some of the pictures are underwater, using your imagination can really pay off, as the silhouette is about as perfect as one can be.
4. Ronda Rousey
Appearing in the 2012 issue was UFC women’s champion and armbar enthusiast, Ronda Rousey. We should say, former armbar enthusiast, as her last two opponents fell via TKO and KO respectively. In short, while Ronda may be the kind of woman who can brutalize most men out there, she is also a total fox. The pink wraps are a nice touch but with all the “hot” in those pictures, they can’t get much better. It’s like they say: “you can only put so much icing on a cake” or something like that.
3. Vera Zvonareva
From Russia with… a mean serve, Vera Zvonareva looked great in the 2011 edition of the Body Issue. She is basically the personifacation of the “Russian look” which is a great thing in her favor. The once number two in the world was 27 when she appeared in the magazine but still looks amazing to this day, despite her dip in the rankings. Love means “zero” in tennis, so in tennis lingo, we’d like to “zero” her all day long.
2. Jamie Anderson
Just for good measure, this list requires one more snowboarder and it was quite a fight for the number one spot. From her beauty to her personality, there are plenty of attractive things about Jamie Anderson when she is competing. Anderson is an American snowboarder and was named 2012 ESPN Best Female Action Sports Athlete. In 2014’s Body Issue, she was in the snow and looked right at home, sporting the usual gorgeous smile her fans know and love.
1. Daniela Hantuchova
While a Russian stole our hearts in the number three spot, it is a Slovak girl who takes the cake today. Hantuchova is tennis player who has been competing professionally since 1999. She’s won six WTA titles since emerging on the scene and her highest ranking with the WTA was at #5. Her body is pretty much what can be expected from a tennis player, but the eyes and the smile are what really do it. She is a complete stunner and is difficult to describe, so the word “perfect” will have to do.
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