|On being naked: 'Well, here I am.' (ESPN the Magazine, Jeff Lipsky)|
In previous years, LPGA players Belen Mozo, Sandra Gal, Anna Grzebien and Christina Kim have appeared in ESPN Magazine's "Body Issue." And next week, Suzann Pettersen will join them in the fourth annual "Body Issue."
The Norway native and No. 6 player in the world becomes the highest ranked athlete to appear in the special issue in its four-year history. She'll be featured along with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, United States Women's National Team soccer player Amy Wambach and Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista.
"A lot of the best athletes in the world have done it, and I thought it was great to be asked. I thought about it, being naked and all, but I never really considered not doing it," said Pettersen (via USA Today), who is 5-9 and weighs 150 pounds. "I just had to make sure that I was comfortable in doing it. It's as natural as it gets. It's health at its peak. I'm in great company."
The photo above was taken during a five-hour shoot in Cocoa Beach, FL, where Pettersen said she was in her birthday suit the entire time save a few moments wrapped in a towel.
"There was a big crowd, we'll say, for the shoot. But they are professional, and I was probably the only one there who felt a little awkward," said the 31-year-old Pettersen. "The photographer asked me if I felt comfortable being naked in front of a camera, and I went, 'Well, here I am.' You kind of get used to it. It's like a role game. You do what they ask and that's it.
"This was a great opportunity for me. If they present the photos in the right way, which I'm sure they will do, there's not going to be anything to be embarrassed about or to criticize."