Photo project

Bodies We Want: Photos from ESPN’s “Body Issue 2015”

ESPN magazine published photo sessions with naked athletes, and covers from previous editions and Bird in Flight selected the best photographs.

On July 6th, the American sports TV channel ESPN published magazine covers of its Body Issue special edition. Every year ESPN photographs famous athletes without clothes to celebrate the body. The edition that hits newsstands on July 10th features NFL players Odell Beckham Jr. and Bryce Harper, soccer player Ali Krieger, competitive swimmer and three-time Olympic winner Natalie Coughlin, hammer thrower Amanda Bingson and other athletes – runners, basketball players, surfers and hockey players.

“Body Issue” was first published in 2009. “Our goal is to continue to evolve the issue year after year,” ESPN The Magazine and editor in chief Chad Millman said. “The ability to capture both the strength and vulnerability of these extraordinary athletes through such powerful images and introspective interviews is incredibly moving.”

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{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_02.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “Body Issue 2015 Cover.”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_03.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “Body Issue 2015 Cover.”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_04.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “Body Issue 2015 Cover.”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_05.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “Body Issue 2015 Cover.”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_06.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “Body Issue 2015 Cover.”}

The magazine also presented the Bodies We Want project. Photographers Carlos Serrao, Peter Hapak, Art Streiber, Jeff Lipsky, Mark Seliger, Peggy Sirota, Kai Z Feng, Richard Phibbs, Williams + Hirakawa, Sophy Holland, Jason Lee, Paola Kudacki and Martin Schoeller captured 24 nude athletes.

Bird in Flight is publishing the best photographs from the edition with quotes from athletes who participated in the project.

Stan Warwinka, 30, tennis:

It still feels like a dream. I’m very proud of winning the 2015 French Open. Being Swiss, you grow up watching Roland Garros. As a junior, I celebrated my first big title here. And now I won it. Its still tough to believe.

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Paige Selenski, 25, field hockey:

Sometimes I think I have a magnet attached to my face. At the international level, you aren’t required to wear any eyewear like you are in high school, because getting hit in the face doesn’t happen very often — except for me. One, two, three, four, five — five scars on my face left by either a stick or a ball.

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Sadena Parks, 25, golf:

I want to be the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world. And I don’t want to be there for the blink of an eye; I want to be there for years.

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Khatuna Lorig, 41, archery:

Some people think archery is not a real sport. It’s a very fun sport and a very easy sport just to do recreationally. But it’s a very hard sport to do at a professional level. It takes a whole lot of mental and physical strength. Without mental strength, you will fold on that field; you will get scared; you will get confused.

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Tyler Seguin, 23, hockey:

I’m anti-superstitious. That’s what I call it. If I have a good game, the next game I’ll make sure I do something different. If I tape my stick one way and then go out and get a hat trick, the next day I’m going to tape my stick a different way. I always want to tell myself “it’s not because of that” about why I had a good game. I can change everything and leave it all on me. The superstitious guys on the team think I’m a weird bird.

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Ali Raisman, 21, gymnastics:

That’s when I’m most comfortable: sweating in a gym, covered in chalk. Most girls are used to wearing heels and dresses, and I’m used to being in a leotard with no makeup on. I love that.

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Brittney Griner, 24, basketball:

I’d describe myself as athletically lanky. I want to show people that. 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.

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Todd Clever, 32, rugby:

Rugby is the most team sport you can have. You’re playing offense and defense; you’re on both sides of the line. Also, the team is led by the captain. The playcallers are making the decisions throughout the game. The coach may say a few things at halftime, but other than that, he’s a spectator.

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Dallas Friday, 28, wakeboarding:

It’s cool to be recognized as someone who’s really upped the level of women’s wakeboarding. I’m really aggressive with my twist on things. I like to go from doing a simple trick and really make it massive and explosive. Girl riders took our sport to the next level.

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Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton, 45 and 51, beach volleyball and surfing. Reece::

I think our physiques influence our personality and our personalities influence our physiques. I joke that I wish I was more bendy because my personality would be more bendy. And I did a sport that’s tightening. For me, it will never be, “Oh my god, she’s so flexible.”

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Natalie Coughlin, 32, 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?” But I really love competing; I love being an athlete.

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Bryce Harper, 22, baseball:

Baseball’s a feel game. So many guys try to look at video and then they think, “I need to change this,” “I need to change that,” and don’t just play the game. Feel where your swing is or where your arm slot is during a ground ball, that’s what got you there.

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_21.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “”}

Ali Krieger, 30, soccer:

I think my confidence came when I turned 30. It 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 from my life.

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_22.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “”}

Anthony Castonzo, 26, American football:

I’m naturally a pretty skinny guy. I’ve got to plan on eating all day just to maintain my weight. I eat a lot, whenever I can.

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_23.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “”}

Leticia Bufoni, 22, skateboarding:

Not a lot of girls skate street. Skating stairs and rails, it hurts a lot. Also, in street skating, we don’t wear any protection. I think it’s even scarier if you’re wearing a helmet and knee pads because that would hold you back. I am afraid of getting hurt, but I love skating street so much that I go for it, you know?

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_24.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “”}

Chantae McMillan, 27, hepthatlon:

I put on muscle super easy. My coach is afraid to have me do too much lifting because I’ll blow up really quick. It’s just crazy how much the body changes. I don’t look in the mirror and think “slim;” I look in the mirror and I’m like, “Whoa, beast!”

{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ESPN_25.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “”}

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