ESPN The Magazine is once again celebrating the incredible, diverse physique of star athletes in its seventh annual Body Issue.
This year the magazine has six different covers featuring Olympic track and field stars Amanda Bingson and Chantae McMillan, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Basketball star Kevin Love, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.—all posing nude.
On not looking like a "typical" athlete
"Generally when you look at athletes, you see their muscles and all that stuff; I don't have any of that. My arm is just my arm—it's not cut, it's not sculpted. I don't have traps bulging out to my ears; I have a neck. I don't have a six-pack. My legs are a little toned, but they aren't bulging out. I'm just dense. I think it's important to show that athletes come in all shapes and sizes."—Amanda Bingson, USA Track & Field hammer thrower and one of the magazine's six cover stars.
On body image issues in swimming
"I was turning 30 and married going into the 2012 Olympics, so everyone assumed I would retire, have babies and disappear. There are teammates on the male side that don't get those questions. I just find it interesting that people so openly are like, "Yeah, this is obviously what you're going to do, right?" Maybe eventually, in my own time. But I've taken really good care of my body to allow me to still compete at a very high level. And I really love competing; I love being an athlete. I'm just enjoying the ride.”— Natalie Coughlin, Olympic swimmer
On why having a unique body is better
"I'm comfortable in my body and I don't mind putting it on display. Honestly, I like how unique it is. My big arms, my bigger hands, these long legs—I love being different. If everybody was the same, it'd be a boring-ass world." — Brittney Griner, WNBA player
On the right kind of working out
"Being an only child and just growing up with my father, I didn't know what girls did with makeup or hairstyles. I grew up just kind of being the person that I am and accepting myself for who I am. I didn't even realize there was a certain way that girls acted and boys acted. So now as I'm growing as a young woman and I see all the stuff that we have to do [laughs] ... I feel like it's just crazy."— Sadena Parks, LPGA golfer
On loving your body for what it can do
"I was built like a little powerhouse. When I was transferring from gymnastics to wakeboarding, I was a little self-conscious. There's not a huge difference going from a leotard to a bathing suit, but you'd see these beautiful girls in bikinis, and I'm only 13 or 14 years old with this buff little body. I grew into being really proud of it, knowing that that's what has enabled me to do what I do."— Dallas Friday, Wakeboarder
On the power of the female body
"I don't look in the mirror and think "slim"; I look in the mirror and I'm like, "Whoa, beast!" It's just crazy how much the body changes. Looking in the mirror I get surprised like every other week. It's like I'm Wonder Woman."— Chantae McMillan, Olympic heptathlete
On being proud of what you worked for
"It's not like I woke up one day and I had a really athletic body and ripped-up abs. I was lucky that I was naturally gifted with an athletic body, but I also put a lot of work into it. I don't stay home and do abs all day long; it just comes with running and all the things I do to stay in shape. I use my body every day for my job. We constantly put our bodies through pain. I'm not afraid to show that off."— Paige Selenski, USA field hockey forward
On embracing your insecurities
"I think imperfection is beauty. Instead of being insecure about my muscles, I've learned to love them. I don't even think of it as a flaw anymore because it's made me into the athlete that I am." — Aly Raisman, Olympic gymnast
On gaining confidence
"I think my confidence came when I turned 30. I don't know, something about turning 30 has been unbelievable. I just feel a sense of freedom. My 20s were really tough, just traveling and living in different countries and doing all these things, and now I feel like I know what I want and know really what my goals and dreams are and what I want from my life."— Ali Krieger, soccer player, member of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup-winning team
On being proud of your body
“I'm very confident in myself, and I'd like to share that: I'm 41, and here I am, I'm happy.”— Khatuna Lorig, Olympic archer