>U.S. water polo women get naked for the camera..

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 By Jason Devaney
Twelve members of the U.S. women’s water polo team posed nude for ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, which recently hit the newsstands. Ever wonder what it’s like to be naked in front of a group of photographers and producers? We spoke with a few of the players to get their thoughts about the photo shoot, the team’s successful summer and more. 
Twelve members of the U.S. women’s water polo team posed nude for ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, which recently hit the newsstands. Ever wonder what it’s like to be naked in front of a group of photographers and producers? A shot of all 12 players appeared on one of the magazine’s six covers.
We spoke with a few of the players to get their thoughts about the photo shoot, the team’s successful summer and more.
What made you agree to pose?
Lauren Wenger: I volunteered to pose for this magazine to really protest any stereotypes that people may have for women water polo players. I have often heard young girls and women afraid to take on this sport because they think you get overly muscular. I thought with this type of photo shoot we would show the world that our bodies are very feminine and beautiful.
Heather Petri: I had absolutely no hesitation. It has taken me a very long time to be comfortable with my body. I was very shy when I was growing up. I never wore a bikini until I was 21. But I think being on the national team has pushed me to see what I am capable of.
What did your family think of you doing the shoot?
Wenger: My family means a lot to me and I am just recently engaged. I thought it was important to ask them and tell them about the shoot to make sure I had their support and no one would hold any reservations. They were all really excited and pumped for this opportunity.
Petri: My family has always been very supportive of what I do. My parents know that they raised me to make smart choices and do what I think it right. So, if I felt this was something I wanted to do, they were behind me all the way.
Was it embarrassing being in front of the cameras?
Petri: Not having ever posed naked before, I was very curious how it would be to have a photographer and his crew all around while I had no clothes on. Maybe it was due to the fact my entire team was around in the studio for support, but once they started shooting it seemed to be a very normal and artistic process.
How does it feel to be on the magazine’s cover?
Petri: What is awesome is that it makes you stop and take a second look. A person who does not know us would pick up the magazine and want to see who we were. It is exciting to think more people may become interested in what we do because we dared to show a new, artistically beautiful side of ourselves.
What was the key this summer when the team won the FINA World League Super Final and the FINA World Cup?
Betsey Armstrong: I wouldn’t really say there was a single key to our success. We took some different groups for each tournament, and I think everyone who had the opportunity to play did so with the mentality of playing hard and going for it.
Do any of the players have jobs or is it all water polo, all the time?
Wenger: Our season is pretty low key right now so players are able to seek job opportunities. As soon as full time training starts, however, it is all water polo, eating and sleeping. 
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