The 20 Hottest Athletes In The SI Swimsuit Issue

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2010

The 20 Hottest Athletes In The SI Swimsuit Issue

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    The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is quite a piece of interest for many people. 

    Not just to the readers, who gawk over the photos of beautiful women wearing swimwear.

    But also to the models themselves, who consider the opportunity to pose in Sports Illustrated a great career move.

    For the female athletes who put on their bathing suits to become featured on the pages of the magazine, they get worldwide fame and exposure.

    Not a bad return for posing in a bikini.  So let's take a look back at some of the most beautiful athletes to be a part of the swimsuit issue.

    Here we go!

20. Suzy Hamilton

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    She's a three-time Olympian middle-distance runner.

    Suzy has competed in seven U.S. National Championships and has been ranked as one of the top runners in the world during the early 2000s.

19. Lacy Schnoor

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    The 25-year-old skier made her Olympic debut in the 2010 Vancouver games, competing in the Women's Aerials.

    Lacy finished ninth.

18. Venus Williams

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    Venus is a former world No. 1-ranked tennis player.

    Her best tennis major tournament performances have come in Wimbledon, where has earned five titles.

    She's a lot leaner and less bulky than her sister Serena. 

    And on this list, Serena's curves in a swimsuit get a lot more appeal than Venus.

17. Hannah Teter

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    Teter is a two-time Olympian snowboarder. She won a gold medal for halfpipe in the Turin Games and a silver medal in Vancouver.

    She has also competed in several X-Games.

    Only 23 years old, we'll definitely be seeing more of her in the future.

16. Steffi Graff

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    She's one of the first female athletes to be featured on the pages of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

    Graf is one of tennis' greatest players.  She is the only person to have achieved a Golden Slam, winning all four major tournaments and a gold medal all in one year, 1988.

    She has won a total of 22 Grand Slam singles titles in her career.

15. Tatiana GoLovin

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    Unfortunately, the tennis world hasn't really seen much of Tatiana since this swimsuit shoot.

    An arthritic condition has caused her to put a hold on her tennis career. She last played in 2008 and ended the year ranked 251st.

    Tatiana is said to be spending time in England with her boyfriend, Arsenal player Samir Nasri.

14. Serena Williams

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    Ah, Serena.

    The woman that lots of people hate on for being placed on "hot athlete" lists but can't seem to stop talking about.

    Whether you're a fan or not, you have to appreciate how she busts out of her swimsuit more so than any of her athlete counterparts.

13. Ekaterina Gordeeva

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    She's a beautiful Russian figure skater that gained notice for winning gold medals in 1988 and 1994. 

    These days, she's said to be living in California with her husband and two daughters.

12. Claire Bidez

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    Bidez just missed a shot at competing in the 2010 Winter Games.

    Not to worry, though—she's only 22 and the world will have plenty of chances to see this young snowboarder in action.

11. Jennie Finch

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    Finch is a now retired softball pitcher, known as one of the most recognized players in the game.

    During her career, she became a part of two USA softball teams that won a gold medal in 2004 and silver in 2008.

10. Daniela Hantuchova

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    Bad news, Hantuchova fans: She fell to Elena Dementieva in the third round of the 2010 U.S. Open.

    But not to worry, you can still see her here, in this video.

9. Lauren Jackson

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    She's 6'5" and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Seattle Storm in 2001.

    Jackson's also a three-time WNBA MVP and believed to be one of the best basketball players to come out of Australia.

    I'm not really sure if she can dunk, but she does look good in her swimsuit.

8. Gabrielle Reece

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    Being a beach volleyball player, Gabby often finds herself wearing a lot of tight outfits.

    So if you're not satisfied with this SI action shot, I'm sure Googling her name will net other photos to your liking.

7. Danica Patrick

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    People say Danica's looks are deceiving.

    Sometimes she looks great, sometimes not.

    Hey, if you're watching this video and don't think this NASCAR driver look great, then there's something wrong on your end.

6. Lindsey Vonn

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    There's just something hot about a girl wearing a swimsuit in the snow.

    And Lindsey pulls it off well.

    During the 2010 Winter Olympics, she became the first American woman to win a gold medal in downhill Alpine ski racing

    Sexy!

5. Amanda Beard

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    It's hard to think of think of Amanda Beard as a jock after seeing her on the pages of so many men's magazines.

    But she's that talented: She can be a model and swimmer at the same time!  Beard won seven medals as a four-time Olympic swimmer.

    Just when we thought she was done with her swimming, she came out of retirement to compete in this August's 2010 USA Swimming Nationals.  She placed fifth in her return.

4. Maria Kirlenko

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    We know that Russia is a breeding ground for hot, talented tennis players.  And thanks to Russia, we have Maria Kirilenko.

    The closest she's come to winning a Grand Slam tournament was this year, when she lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

3. Anna Kournikova

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    Anna's early departure from tennis has left many of her fans wishing that she could have played just a little longer.

    Who knows what could have been if injuries didn't stall her career.

    Enjoy this video from 2004.

2. Maria Sharapova

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    Maria's been getting a lot of air time lately, and many of her fans hoped that the hottie could have taken the 2010 U.S. Open title.

    However, she fell to Caroline Wozniacki during the quarterfinals.

    Seeing her do well in the U.S. Open, however, renewed interest in this Russian-born beauty.  It gave us flashbacks to 2006, the year she won the U.S. Open, and also the same year she shot this SI video.

1. Ana Ivanovic

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    No one has ever looked so good wearing a swimsuit and lying on a bed of tennis balls.

    No one.

    Don't believe me?

    Watch the video.