ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue" 2013 hits newsstands Friday, and the preview images of the 20 nude athletes are creating quite a stir online.
From pregnant volleyball Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings and 77-year-old golfer Gary Player to rock climber Chris Sharma and female boxer Marlen Esparza, this year's fifth annual ESPN "Body Issue" highlights the best bodies in sports.
"[The athletes] are proud of the work they put into being strong and powerful and we're proud that they trust us to capture that," ESPN The Magazine editor-in-chief Chad Millman told The Associated Press.
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"Each year, we stop to admire the vast potential of the human form," read a description on the ESPN website. "To unapologetically stand in awe of the athletes who've pushed their physiques to profound frontiers. To imagine how it would feel to inhabit those bodies, to leap and punch and throw like a god. To... well, gawk. So go ahead; join us."
Twitter users took to social media to voice their opinions about the photographs.
But there's one person who has a criticism of the "Body Issue."
"I wish they'd feature more bodies of athletes who weren't perfect sculptures to prove that athletes come in multiple shapes and sizes, or more athletes who aren't remarkably attractive," Travis Waldron at ThinkProgress.org wrote.
"The bodies that are naturally appealing aren’t suitable for all sports. So why not feature those bodies too, whether they’re from bigger athletes like bodybuilders and offensive linemen or smaller ones like marathoners?"
Other athletes showcased in the "Body Issue" include NFL players Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis; NBA players John Wall and Kenneth Faried; MLB players Matt Harvey and Giancarlo Stanton; tennis stars Agnieszka Radwanska and John Isner; and soccer player Sydney Leroux.
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