Dwyane Wade, Conor McGregor, Jake Arrieta, Vince Wilfork, Elena Delle Donne and Christen Press among 19 in Mag’s annual Body Issue
From ESPN.com: http://es.pn/28LQizl
For NBA veteran Dwyane Wade, who was so insecure about his body as a child that he refused to swim without his shirt on, posing for the issue was a huge leap outside his comfort zone. Wade is one of 19 athletes in the ESPN the Magazine Body Issue, which will appear online on July 6 and hit newsstands on July 8.
“It’s bigger than me showing my body off,” Wade says. “That’s not as important to me as telling a story of overcoming a fear. It hopefully gives someone confidence to really be their authentic self.”
But for NFL defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, posing came easy: “I know I don’t have the six-packs and the eight-packs and all that … but I’m perfectly fine with what I am.” Wilfork adds, “If people can look at me, look at a guy that’s 325-plus doing an issue like this, I’m pretty sure that they might have a little confidence after seeing that it’s OK to be who you are.”
Wade and Wilfork are joined by Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, Chicago Cubs Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Jake Arrieta, three-time WNBA All-Star and 2015 MVP Elena Delle Donne, Olympians Nathan Adrian and April Ross, and U.S. women’s national soccer team forward Christen Press.
This is the eighth annual edition of the Body Issue. It will include photos, personal interviews and videos of the athletes, including global MMA star Conor McGregor, whose interview for the Body Issue was his first following the firestorm created after his April 19 tweet suggesting that he was retiring early. Additionally, Team USA duathlete Chris Mosier, 35, is the first transgender athlete to appear in the Body Issue: “As a trans person, I was in a body that didn’t really fit me for 29 years; now I feel comfortable in my own skin. That’s something that I’m proud of and wanted to share with other people.”
“The Body Issue has evolved into a powerful storytelling platform,” says Neely Lohmann, senior deputy editor and the producer of The Magazine’s franchise issue. “Year after year, the athletes allow themselves to be completely vulnerable with our audience—not just in the photographs but with their interviews as well. This year we have athletes opening up in raw and moving ways about overcoming physical struggles: everything from asthma to HIV, amputation to transgender transitioning. It’s an honor to tell their stories.”
ESPN the Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Alison Overholt adds: “The vulnerability that Neely describes — this is what continues to amaze me, and what grows ever more compelling with each year that we do the Body Issue. The willingness of these athletes to share their personal journeys is stunning. They bring fans inside what it takes to build the bodies that achieve these incredible feats of sport. But they also share, unflinchingly, the mental and emotional journey they’ve each been on to embrace what is different, unique and often imperfect about their own bodies and body stories. It makes even the most elite of these athletes so very relatable, and is something that will continue draw in new fans.”
Also featured is retired diver Greg Louganis, 56, who is the oldest athlete in the issue: “It’s all about making healthy choices. I think HIV has helped motivate me mentally and physically. I look at working out and doing something physically active every day as being as important as taking my meds.”
Others in the issue include professional motocross racer Ryan Dungey, surfer Courtney Conlogue, paratriathlete Allysa Seely and U.S. Olympians Emma Coburn (steeplechase), Adeline Gray (wrestling), Nzingha Prescod (fencing) and gold medalist Claressa Shields (boxing).
Carrie Kreiswirth, ESPN PR at [email protected]