ESPN Body Issue 2011: Top 20 Athletes We Want to See in 2012

Zack PumerantzAnalyst IIIOctober 5, 2011

ESPN Body Issue 2011: Top 20 Athletes We Want to See in 2012

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    With a new throng of beautiful athletes revealing their covered up bodies in this year's ESPN Body Issue, the bar that is set for the ideal figure continues to be raised.

    Hope Solo and Gretchen Bleiler headlined a stellar 2011 core of athletes, but ESPN left out a significant number of potentially breathtaking appearances.

    While most athletes in sports have impeccable bodies and riveting stories, the best options are those who have garnered fame for their looks, but have yet to delve into the field of modeling with such ferocity.

    Here are the 20 athletes we'd love to see on next year's beautifully creative issue.

    Enjoy.

20. Natalie Gulbis: Golf

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    Of Latvian descent, this golfer has seemingly already approached the camera with a unique zeal that is only expressed by future models.

    While she discovered her affinity for golf at the age of four, Natalie Gulbis is now understanding that beauty garners more attention.

    She couldn't possibly let this beauty be hidden behind an argyle sweater and mundane pants.

19. Stephanie Rice: Swimming

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    While she is clearly close to understanding her beauty, this Australian swimmer needs the ESPN Body Issue to really explore her potential.

    She already holds the world record in the 400-meter women's individual medley and has three gold medals from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, so her swimming career seems complete.

    All she's missing is exposure.

18. Anastasia Luppova: Professional Billiards

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    There might not be anything sexier than a woman who can dominate a pool table.

    The 2009 European and World Billiards Champion, and winner of the Miss Billiards event, Russian player Anastasia Luppova seems to have the moxie to succeed in front of the camera.

    She makes any billiards match breathtaking.

17. Victoria Pendleton: Cycling

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    The promise that this British Olympic and world champion cyclist showed at age 13 pales in comparison to the potential she is showing as a model.

    Her prop choices are quite unique.

16. Beatriz Recari: Golf

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    This Spanish golfer has the smile to please the camera on any given photo shoot.

    After discovering her golf prowess at age 11, Beatriz Recari went on to have a prosperous amateur career, winning the 2004 Spanish Amateur Championship and the 2005 French Amateur Championship.

    A member of Team Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup in 2005, Recari has only recently found the box of sexiness that she has yet to open.

15. Anastasia Ashley: Surfing

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    As a professional surfer, Anastasia Ashley is used to the outfits that promote her beautiful features.

    On the other hand, her iconic first name will surely separate her from her peers—as well as her sexy poses.

14. Jennifer Barretta: Professional Billiards

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    The amount of beauty inside of professional billiards is quite shocking to say the least.

    Jennifer Barretta may ignite her fans into a frenzy, as well as attract a new throng of followers.

    She already has, really.

13. Blair O'Neal: Golf

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    While golf doesn't quite require impeccable fitness and stellar endurance, the game is significantly brightened by the participation of beautiful players like Blair O'Neal.

    A four-time golf MVP with two NCAA Long Drive contest wins while at Arizona State University, this golfer knows how to impress her fans.

    The Body Issue would improve her resume that much more.

12. Stacy Keibler: Professional Wrestling

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    Once known as "The Legs of the WCW" and of the WWE, the former Diva has the jaw-dropping body to please any set of lenses that are focused on her.

    Now an actress, model and former contestant on Dancing with the Stars, Stacy Keibler has become a household name.

    An appearance in the Body Issue would make her an immortal name.

11. Erin Andrews: Softball

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    This might be a slight stretch. This sportscaster has garnered plenty of fame for her beauty, which is ironic considering she has yet to do any significant provocative shoots.

    A subtle, yet classy personality in sports, Erin Andrews is beloved by men around the athletic world.

    She's getting closer.

10. Heather Mitts: Soccer

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    With a name like Mitts, it's baffling as to why she chose soccer over softball, but her beauty is too hard to ignore.

    While she has clearly flirted with the camera and had her share of gentle photo shoots, this two-time Olympic gold medalist defender would do her fans a favor by delving into the world of provocative modeling.

    Husband A.J. Feeley may not be so pleased, though.

9. Alex Morgan: Soccer

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    With her teammate Hope Solo gracing the pages of this year's issue, United States soccer star Alex Morgan should feel inclined to get involved.

    Some would say she's the sexier, albeit more subtle, of the two.

    We'd love to get to know her better.

8. Maria Verchenova: Golf

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    Despite being the first Russian to become a full-time member of the Ladies European Tour and having several top 10 finishes, Maria Verchenova is still applauded more for her looks than her handicap.

    Golf is quietly becoming more interesting.

7. Bia and Branca Feres: Synchronized Swimming

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    While these beautiful synchronized swimmers have appeared in VIP, they have yet to fully please the cameras and anxious fans.

    Beginning their athletic careers at three years old, they were trained from the start to be swimmers, making it likely that they didn't have time to appreciate their sexy abilities early on.

    Luckily, Bia and Branca Feres have the opportunity to make up for lost time considering they are only 23.

6. Sophie Sandolo: Golf

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    This beautiful Italian golfer releases a nude calender every year, which makes it surprising that she hasn't approached full-time modeling.

    Now's her chance.

5. Leryn Franco: Javelin Throwing

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    This Paraguayan model and javelin thrower may have become an Internet sensation during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but her recent appearance in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition solidified her reputation as a beauty before an athlete.

    Franco's photo shoots have only improved, with her beauty growing every moment.

    A Body Issue appearance would only strengthen her legacy.

4. Olivia Boeree: Poker

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    Rather than having an unreadable face, this poker player distracts and attacks her opponents with a different animal.

    Liv Boeree gets it done with breathtaking beauty.

3. Shanelle Loraine: Professional Billiards

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    Billiards seems to find the right players to come in and dominate—the camera that is.

    Pool player Shanelle Loraine is the ideal prospect for the ESPN Body Issue.

    And she knows it.

2. Arianny Celeste: MMA Personality

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    Known as an Octagon girl for the UFC, Arianny Celeste has clearly tested the model waters with her appearances in Playboy and the "Hot 100" of Maxim.

    However, the ESPN Body Issue is seemingly the next step.

    This needs to happen.

1. Almudena Cid Tostado: Rhythmic Gymnast

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    With one of the most unique name in sports, Almudena Cid Tostado is somehow the oldest current rhythmic gymnast still competing.

    If that's true, she is surely getting better with age.

    Cid Tostado may have a modeling contract with Nike, but an appearance in the Body Issue of ESPN magazine would undoubtedly create worldwide chaos—in a good way.