What You Need To Know About The Women In The ESPN Magazine Body Issue

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ESPN Magazine Body Issue, the annual spread that honors athletes bodies through nude photos. When the Body Issue initially launched in 2008, it was simply meant to "celebrate the incredible power of the athletic form." Over the years, it has become an iconic feature that challenges the way we see athletes' bodies — for better or worse.
Some have argued that the Body Issue normalizes sexual objectification, while others say it's positive because it emphasizes "healthiness and beauty of an athlete's body." But in 2018, when more athletes are speaking up about sexual assault and harassment, the Body Issue serves as a poignant reminder that athletes are more than just bodies to be ogled.
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This year, there are eight women and eight men being featured. So, who are the women athletes you'll see on the pages of the ESPN Magazine Body Issue this time around? Here's what you need to know about the careers and accomplishments of the women being featured this year.
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Sue Bird & Megan Rapinoe

Sue Bird is a WNBA player for the Seattle Storm and four-time gold medal Olympian who has been referred to as "the best point guard in the world" by her coach. Megan Rapinoe is a forward for the Seattle Reign FC, a gold medal Olympian, and happens to be Bird's girlfriend. Together, they're the power couple of pro sports. As the story goes, they awkwardly met at a pre-Olympics media day, then Rapinoe slid into Bird's DMs — and the rest is history.
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Tori Bowie

Considered "the fastest woman in the world" in track and field, Tori Bowie is someone to keep up with. Her event is the 200m dash, and she can run it in 21.77 seconds. The 27-year-old sprinter from Mississippi has a bronze, silver, and gold medal under her belt and has even modeled for Valentino.
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S•E•A•T•T•L•E

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Breanna Stewart

In 2016, Breanna Stewart graduated from UConn, was drafted to the WNBA in the first round, and won Rookie of the Year — NBD. The Seattle Storm forward/center is the fastest WNBA player to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for her career (she did it in 55 games). Last year, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, Stewart wrote a powerful essay about her own experience with sexual abuse. Off the court, Stewart has partnered with RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) to raise awareness about sexual abuse.
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Gameday!!! 👊🏾💥🙌🏾 #blessed

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Crystal Dunn

In the early stages of Crystal Dunn's career, she was told she was "too short" — at 5 feet 2 inches — to be a soccer player. But now the forward for the US Women's National Team and North Carolina Courage is proving people wrong. "At 25, I accept who I am. I am not the biggest, but that doesn't mean I can't be the quickest or the smartest and find other ways of being successful," she told ESPN.
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Jessie Diggins

You may remember Jessie Diggins from the PyeongChang Olympics this year. Diggins was the very first US woman to win a gold medal in cross-country skiing, and her photo finish went viral because she collapsed into a hug with her mentor and teammate Kikkan Randall at the end. The 26-year-old has been on skis since she was 3 and enjoys hiking, canoeing, camping, and swimming, during the off season.
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Flair for the Money 💰 #MITB

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Charlotte Flair

Growing up, Charlotte Flair was a gymnast and a volleyball player whose dad happened to be Rick Flair, a WWE legend. Flair started wrestling in 2012, and has a long list of accolades under her name, including four-time WWE Raw Women's Champion and WWE Smackdown Women's Champion. While the glitz and showmanship of the WWE is where Flair found her claim to fame, she wants to be seen as more than just a TV personality. "When I'm in that ring, I want the audience and little girls and children and adults to see me as the athlete I am, not just a tall blonde that's a WWE Superstar," Flair told ESPN.
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Lauren Chamberlain

Lauren Chamberlain is a powerhouse infielder who's entering her third season with the USSSA Pride this year. In college, Chamberlain set an NCAA home run record (she scored 95), and she told ESPN that when she started hitting it changed her relationship to her body. "When I got into college athletics, my body and power were celebrated and appreciated," she said. "That was huge for my mindset on my body."
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