Top 10 Sexiest Magazine Covers Featuring Female Athletes
History would tell us, the world has always had a fascination for the beauty of the female form. But society’s dominant standards of beauty can influence the way we view women’s bodies. It has gone through phases, each with a fixation on a specific quality. In the 80’s up to the early 90’s, supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Vendella, and Christie Brinkley ruled not just the runways but also countless magazine covers and men’s fantasies. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, grunge made us lust after the delicate, waif like female form that the likes of Kate Moss, Winona Ryder, and Gwyneth Paltrow embodied. But one thing has always been constant, the universal acknowledgement that power and athleticism are sexy. Now, we have slowly come to the understanding and acceptance of beauty as a fluid and varied concept that encompasses more than the physical form. The female form has never been more beautiful as when it is strong, capable, and healthy. Here are ten magazine covers who have paid homage to the world’s most sexiest female athletes.
10. Bia and Branca Feres, Synchronized Swimmers, Maxim
The sexiest sisters to ever grace a magazine cover hail from the land of the golden tan, Brazil. The synchronized swimmers appear on the cover almost butt naked, in nothing but tiny thongs displaying their delectable hips, leaning against each other, smiling wickedly up to the camera, sharing a naughty secret. We can’t decide who’s sexier though. It’s a tie, girls!
9. Amanda Beard, Swimmer, Playboy
The olympic medalist ruffled a few feathers when she appeared in Playboy magazine back in 2007. We don’t know what the fuss is all about, Amanda has an incredible body and she is owning it in this cover. Moreover, the cover proved instrumental in inspiring other female athletes like Ashley Harkleroad to appear in Playboy as well. Props to you, Amanda. Preach.
8. Ana Ivanovic, Tennis Player, FHM
The Serbian stunner is so irresistibly sexy, she has appeared in FHM in 3 languages, just in case the readers run out of words to say, mouth agape at her mesmerizing photos. But she is more than just a gorgeous face and a perfect body, Ana is world renowned tennis player, reaching the top of the rankings at her prime. But for us, she’s always at her prime. Always.
7. Serena Williams, Tennis Player, ESPN
The magazine garnered some criticism for featuring the fully nude Serena Williams on its cover. What the critics seemed to miss is that Serena is smiling, flexing her arm to show off her gun position, while her voluptuous curves are gloriously displayed with her legs bent and luscious hip thrusted sidewards, perfectly demonstrating how beautiful the marriage of power and femininity can be.
6. Paulina Gretzky, Golfer, Golfer’s Digest
You may not have heard about this magazine, and that’s totally understandable. The magazine is famous in the golfing circle. What makes this particular issue stand out is because it features the rare female golfer in a fun, exciting light. Moreover, Paulina is Wayne Gretzky’s daughter, posing in a midriff and skin tight leggings. Papa don’t preach.
5. Ashley Harkleroad, Tennis Player, Playboy
The pretty Tennessee native made waves all over the tennis circle when she became the first tennis player to appear in Playboy, following fellow athlete Amanda Beard’s footsteps. The sexy cover shows a cheeky Ashley in a dangerously short tennis skirt and an achingly small face towel draped around her neck, covering her breasts, as she leans over an upturned tennis racket. Thank God, for Amanda Beard. Pioneer woman extraordinaire.
4. Gabrielle Reece, Volleyball Player, Playboy
The gorgeous volleyball player has made a mark in her name for her athleticism and extraordinary beauty. She was named as one of the Top 5 Most Beautiful Women In The World by Elle Magazine in 1989. The fitness guru and certified MILF wanted to show the world that beautiful women, like wine, do get better with age. So she shot for her second magazine cover, appearing completely nude in a 2001 issue of Playboy.
3. Rena Marlette Lesnar, WWE Fighter, Playboy
One of the most legendary WWE divas of all time, Rena Mariette Lesnar, better known to fans as Sable shot for Playboy in 1999 in what would turn out to be one of their best-selling issues of all time. The sizzling wrestler is clad in a skin tight leather body suit looking up sweetly to the camera. If this were a match, we’d gladly let her beat us to a pulp.
2. Mia St. John, Boxer, Playboy
Never the one to let the male gaze forget her remarkable talents and skills in the ring, Mia agreed to shoot for Playboy on the crucial condition that her pictorial be all about boxing. Here she appears on the clutching her breasts with her gloves. The eleven-page spread features Mia in various poses with the boxing theme. That sure got us excited about boxing like never before. Thrilla ain’t got nothing on this.
1. Gina Carano, MMA Fighter, ESPN
The stunning American Gladiator kicks some serious ass in this cover for ESPN magazine. The cover perfectly captures the undeniable sexiness of her athletic body in all its glory. Gina appears on the cover with one gloved hand clutching her bountiful breasts, the other extended along with a toned leg towards a punching bag. Her amazing abs are in incredible display, and that scowl on her face? Goddamn hot.