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Here's a bunch of Olympians posing nude

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
American record-holder in the decathlon, Ashton Eaton. This is how I pose before beginning blogging in the mornings, only normally, naturally, I'm wearing boxers. (Carlos Serrrao/ESPN The Magazine)

The premise and motive for the annual Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine confuses me.

Athletes are athletes, after all. They go through rigorous training and repetition to remain the best in the world at what they do. Naturally, they're going to be toned and fit and make most of us feel like harmless sacks of goo because of it. Having one of these issues initially made sense, but basically we're at the point where ESPN wants to sell flesh once a year, so have at it, I guess. Year to year, I'm not noticing anything evolutionary or different about the bodies picked; the faces are mostly all that changes.

With the Olympics a few weeks away -- come on, get here already, Games -- the mag naturally took it upon itself to wrangle in a bunch of athletes who'll be competing in London. I've assembled seven of the photos ESPN put online Tuesday. Much credit to the photogs, who really deserve the spotlight here. While body tone remains similar to the layman, the style of the shots is pretty fantastic.

Plus, this, ironically, gives a face to a few competitors who barely see publicity as is. Here is a direct link to the vast slideshow, and all photos are credited to the magazine and specific photographer below.

Enjoy.

USA fencer Tim Morehouse, who from this angle looks like Adam Scott. (Peter Hapak/ESPN The Magazine)

Paralympic rower Oksana Masters in what's my favorite shot of the entire slideshow. (Martin Schoeller/ESPN The Magazine)

U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva is perfectly angled for the shot. Thank goodness for shadows. (Peter Hapak/ESPN The Magazine)

American soccer star Abby Wambach. I've also been naked in the sand before, and it's not fun afterward. We're talking 45-minute showers. (Carlos Serrrao/ESPN The Magazine)

The United States women's volleyball team. I can't help but wonder what the prep for this photo shoot was like. Does everyone hold a towel until the final second before shooting? (Art Streiber/ESPN The Magazine)

American runner Walter Dix running in front of what appears to be generic Windows 98 screensaver. (Olugbenro Ogunsemore/ESPN The Magazine)
 
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