The 2013 lineup for ESPN The Magazine’s annual “Body Issue” has been announced, and it isn’t without a few surprises. This year’s entries include a NFC champion quarterback, a Olympic gold medalist (and new mom), and a 77-year-old professional golfer.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Olympic volleyball player Kerri Walsh-Jennings, and 77-year-old golfer Gary Player will all be prominently featured in this year’s “Body Issue,” according to an ESPN The Magazine press release. This year’s fifth annual Body Issue is slated for a release date of Friday, July 12.
ESPN The Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chad Milliman told the Los Angeles Times that this year’s featured athletes are “proud of the work they put into being strong and powerful and we're proud that they trust us to capture that.”
Since it was first released in 2009, the Body Issue has gained a cult following for its raw, intimate portrayal of the athlete physique. While fans of the issue have grown used to seeing their favorite athletes photographed in the nude, this year’s edition features a few surprises.
For example, Player, at 77, will be the oldest athlete ever to be photographed for the Body Issue. Meanwhile, Walsh-Jennings, a new mother, will be featured in photos taken both before and after she gave birth to daughter Scout in April, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Kaepernick, the heavily tattooed quarterback of the 49ers, expressed his gratitude for being selected to appear in the Body Issue. "Being selected by ESPN The Magazine for the Body Issue is an incredible honor," Kaepernick told ESPN. "Thank you for believing in me, my 49ers family and my INK!"
Player, Kaepernick, and Walsh-Jennings are just a few of the 21 athletes that will pose nude for the 2013 Body Issue. Other participants include NHRA Funny Car driver Courtney Force, 49ers star Vernon Davis, NBA stars John Wall and Kenneth Faried, MLB phenoms Matt Harvey and Giancarlo Stanton, WNBA player Swin Cash, NHL winger Joffrey Lupul, golfer Carly Booth, snowboarder Elena Hight, mixed martial artist Miesha Tate, boxer Marlen Esparza, soccer player Sydney Leroux, motocross competitor Tara Gieger, tennis players Agnieszka Radwanska and John Isner, and rock climbers Chris Sharma and Daila Ojeda.
Past issues and photos from ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue” can be found here. The fifth annual edition will be released on Friday, July 12.