The athletes’ diverse, powerful physiques and athleticism make for striking images that prove something any athlete knows to be true: An “athletic” body doesn’t have to look one way or another, it just has to perform.
Here are all of the guys featured in the 2017 Body Issue.
The Body Issue hits newsstands on July 7, with more photos and interviews appearing on ESPN.com.
2 of 9
1. Ezekiel Elliott
NFL star Ezekiel Elliott, 21, is coming off one hell of a rookie season: playing in the Pro Bowl, gaining attention for hurdling over anyone who gets in his way, and turning his jersey into a crop top—his preferred way to wear it since college, he revealed to ESPN during his Body Issue interview.
3 of 9
2. Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman, the wide receiver who made the history-making catch that led New England to a win at Super Bowl LI, talked fueling his body for success (except when it comes to burgers) and preparing to make any catch during his interview with ESPN.
4 of 9
3. Isaiah Thomas
At 5’9″, he may be one of the smallest guys on the court, but Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas uses it to his advantage, he told ESPN.
5 of 9
4. Malakai Fekitoa
As a child who was often referred to as “cripple” following a traumatizing hip injury at the age of six, Malakai Fekitoa never thought he’d be a pro rugby player. Now, at 25, he plays for the All Blacks, the winningest team in rugby history. He talked growing up on a small island and overcoming his height in his Body Issue interview.
6 of 9
5. Brent Burns and Joe Thornton
San Jose Sharks players (and seemingly BFFs) Brent Burns and Joe Thornton talked having built glutes, big beards, and reading teammates’ body language in their Body Issue feature.
7 of 9
6. Javier Baez
Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez has a World Series win under his belt, but hasn’t forgotten his Puerto Rican roots. He talked going from a hitter to a defender, tagging, and overcoming adversity in his Body Issue interview.
Zach Ertz, tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, and his wife, Julie, who plays for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, are the only couple featured in the issue. They talked being supportive, overcoming insecurities, and being competitive to the extreme in their Body Issue feature.