ESPN‘s fourth annual Body Issue is out and we are all drooling over this year’s athletes. Honestly, who even knew that the human body was capable of looking like this? The English dictionary needs to seriously be updated to include a word that fully defines just how really, really ridiculously good looking these champions are, because calling them “toned” or “hot” seems like the understatements of the century. Regardless of their sport, from golfing to surfing to running, these athletes show how exercise does miracles for one’s physique and confirm that we all need to really start using our gym memberships…or better yet, purchase a gym membership.
While looking at ESPN‘s photos may make you want to never wear a bikini again, don’t lose all hope: these sports’ superstars actually give us a pretty refreshing view on body image. Rather, viewing their bodies as machines that must perform at the highest level possible, the Olympians seem more accepting of their figures and less concerned about their weight — it’s really refreshing to see bodies in a magazine that aren’t stick thin. Check out what some of these athletes have to say about their bodies. It seems some of them have more than just athletic skill but also have a pretty good knack for inspiring and entertaining us.
Maya Gabeira: “Most women are afraid of being too strong. When you surf, your muscles get bigger, especially your shoulders.”
Danell Leyva: “After I’m done training, all I want to do is eat a huge meal and go to bed. But sometimes I think about trying to get better abs.”
Tyson Chandler: “I’m pretty much a normal person’s size — just stretched out.”
Abby Wambach: “Female athletes are getting very, very thin, but I’m a bigger woman — I have bigger muscles, and that’s OK.”
Maurice Jones-Drew: “I’m a cross between the Hulk and Iron Man.”
Carlos Bocanegra: “We hear from members of the opposite sex that they enjoy our legs.”
Ronda Rousey: “People made fun of my arms and called me ‘Miss Man.’ It wasn’t until I got older that I realized: These people are idiots. I’m fabulous.”
Jose Bautista: “It’s pretty funny that people think I’m supposed to have big arms just because I hit home runs.”
Candace Parker: “The last time I was on the cover [in 2009], I was pregnant, so it’s nice to see the body transform.”
Megan Hodge: “The bodies are different because the positions we have are so different. You have little people, tall people, big, skinny — you have everything.”