Gus Kenworthy Reveals What It's Really Like to Pose Nude for ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue

From a spray tan to penile shrinkage, the Olympian reveals what a naked photo shoot involves

By Zach Johnson Jul 05, 2017 2:15 PMTags
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Gus Kenworthy was feeling cheeky Wednesday.

In celebration of ESPN the Magazine's annual Body Issue being released online, the Olympic silver medalist appeared on Good Morning America—via satellite in Denver—to reveal what it's really like to pose naked on camera. "I was 100 percent nude," he said of his pictorial, shot by Benjamin Lowy. "I was naked for the photo shoot for like six hours. It was crazy!"

Though he's in peak physical condition (and he's posed nude a few times on Instagram before), Kenworthy admitted, "I was definitely nervous. I had reservations. But I was also really excited to be a part of it. I've always been a fan of The Body Issue. I think it's such a beautiful issue that they do—and it showcases so many different types of bodies and athletes—so it was an honor."

Here's Julian Edelman's Bubble Butt in All Its Naked Glory

Kenworthy got a spray tan and a beard trim before disrobing on Mammoth Mountain in California. Before the shoot, he recalled, "My mom said, 'You're so brave,' which is maybe not the reaction that I wanted. She was like, 'I wouldn't do it. 'I was like, 'Well, hopefully they don't ask you!'" In the weeks leading up to the shoot, "I tried to kind of stick with what I had been doing, just in my normal training and my normal life; I didn't want to do a complete 180. I definitely was in the gym twice a day. My diet, especially for the week right before the shoot, was really, really strict, like no salt, no sugar, dairy. It was basically like I was eating ice cubes."

Lara Spencer then tried to delicately ask Kenworthy about penile shrinkage. "I've been skiing out in Colorado before. It's awfully cold out there," Spencer said. "Did they have, um, heaters?"

"They had a robe that I could put on, but it was freezing. The photo editor had already prepped me and she was like, 'Think about poses you can do to hide yourself. Think of creative ways to hide yourself,'" he said. "I got out there in the cold and I was like, 'Don't worry; it'll hide itself.'"

ESPN the Magazine profiled 23 athletes for annual issue, including New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, Boston Celtics player Isaiah Thomas and tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki.

Athletes A.J. Andrews, Javier Baez, Kacey Bellamy, Brent Burns, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Ezekiel Elliott, Kirstie Ennis, Julie Ertz, Zach Ertz, Malakai Fekitoa, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Nneka Ogwumike, Joe Thornton, Alex Rigsby, Ashley Wagner, Michelle Waterson and Novlene Williams-Mills also stripped for ESPN.

ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue is on newsstands nationwide Friday.