Athletes & Celebrities

April Ross Hits the Sand for ESPN's Body Issue

The Olympic beach volleyball player gave ESPN her input on body image and strength.

April Ross is
Nancy Weisman / ESPN

Olympic silver medalist April Ross is in the middle of training for the 2016 Olympics. She's an amazing beach volleyball player, known for killing it on the sand with teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings, but she's also a stunning model in ESPN Magazine's Body Issue 2016, which hits newsstands Friday, July 8th.

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The photos were shot by Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa, and they capture the gorgeous athlete's strength and agility on the sand flawlessly. The above behind-the-scenes photo, shot by Nancy Weisman, shows just how much goes into getting that perfect shot, which Ross shared on her Instagram below.

The first time I saw ESPN's Body Issue I knew I wanted to be in it. At the same time, I REALLY thought I'd never get the chance. Like most, I've struggled with my body image. It's been years of cultivating a positive attitude, feeding the "good wolf", learning to fully accept my body despite any imperfections I might see, that has gotten me to this point. Our bodies are AMAZING. I love how sport helps us realize this. Thank you ESPN for recognizing it and choosing me to be apart of the celebration! Huge shout out to my agent @kagawacolas for making this dream a reality for me! And beyond grateful for the vision and creation of @williamshirakawa #NOphotoshopallowed #ESPN #bodyissue Please read the article, it's in my bio!

A photo posted by April Ross (@aprilrossbeach) on

In the exclusive interview with Morty Ain, Ross discussed body image and how being a pro athlete doesn't mean being stick-thin. 

While Ross said she's had issues with body image in the past, she has learned to love her body and what it's capable of.

"For me, I value the power of my body, and I think I'm a little more muscular than you might expect," Ross said, "I don't consider myself thin, and I'm not trying to look great in a bikini—I'm trying to be as strong as possible and as powerful as possible for my sport."

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