US Olympic Volleyball Team Body Issue: Early Look at the Girls of Summer

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IJuly 10, 2012

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ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue has become as big a deal as Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue, and this year, they feature the US Olympic Women's Volleyball Team. 

We get an early look at what's going to be in the Body Issue with ESPN's "Bodies We Want" photo gallery, and the shots of the girls on the Olympic team are downright stunning.

The first photo of the volleyball team is a fantastic semi-silhouette group shot. 

One of the first things I notice right off the bat is the massive differences in the shape and size of these ladies. The next thing I noticed is the incredibly fierce look on all the faces in the picture. 

These ladies mean business.

The next shot on the slideshow is of Destinee Hooker, the team's opposite. Her job is to play the outside opposite the setter in the rotation, and she is responsible to block shots and set for her hitters if her setter can't get to the ball.

Hooker's body is as lithe and graceful as any I've ever seen. She's 6'4" and weighs in at 160 pounds, and according to her, she can easily dunk a basketball. She won't get any arguments from me on the subject.

Finally, 35-year old Stacy Sykora looks playful and graceful all at the same time in this shot that shows off her position as libero—the team's defensive specialist. 

Her story is quite amazing, as just last year, she was in an accident in Brazil that caused brain damage and a three-day coma. Many people in her shoes would just be finishing rehab, according to Sykora, yet she's already playing for team USA in the Olympics this summer.

The Body Issue is an artistic study of the unique shapes and forms of the world's elite athletes. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at the U.S. Olympic Volleyball team. Stay tuned for more pictures and stories when the official magazine comes out on July 13, 2012.