The world's best known track star has been requested to pose naked for this year's edition of ESPN The Magazine Body. The issue raised many eyebrows with nude and semi-nude photos of United States athletes Carmelita Jeter and Walter Dix.
Senior deputy editor of the magazine, Neely Lohmann, stated that Bolt was the only Jamaican athlete they really wanted. "We tried very hard to get Bolt but he was not comfortable with it. To my knowledge we focus really on American athletes but, of course, because Bolt is such a superstar so we tried to get him. We were trying from about January or February of this year. He (Bolt) is the only one I can recall right now who was approached; but it work both ways, we take suggestions and recommendations. We contact athletes and sometimes they contact us," Lohmann said.
Bolt's publicist said that it is not the first time the Jamaican superstar has been approached by the magazine to pose nude. "Every year they approach him but there is no need for Bolt to do a semi-nude feature. Bolt is one of the finest athletes and his marketing team felt that posing nude wouldn't enhance or grow his brand. That wouldn't add any value to his brand," Beckford said.
In her interview in the ESPN magazine, Jeter said she decided to pose nude because, "the Body issue shows the body as it is in science."
She further said; "My coach, John Smith, believes in the science of track and field, and I wanted to experience doing a photo shoot that was purely about representing the body. I remembered seeing Blake Griffin's photo, and I admired it. It wasn't anything sexual; it just represented the muscles, the body, and it was the same with all the other athletes as well. It wasn't so much of me wanting to get a point across, but I wanted to see myself as a representative of sports, as a representative of track and field, a representative of the human body."
Over the years several sporting celebrities such as tennis super-star Serena Williams and NBA sensation, Dwight Howard have posed nude for the magazine.