Natalie Coughlin is one of 24 athletes featured in the 2015 ESPN Magazine Body Issue, but she’s one that stands out in a big way. Coughlin may be 32 going on 33 in August, but she definitely doesn’t look a day past 21, maybe 22-years-old. Coughlin, the winner of multiple Olympic gold medals, will be joined by other big-time names including Kevin Love, Tyler Seguin, Brittney Griner, Bryce Harper, Jermaine Jones, DeAndre Jordan, Ali Krieger and another gold medalist in Aly Raisman, to name just a few.
Below is a tweet of Natalie Coughlin’s spread in the Body Issue, if you haven’t seen it already.
— Brandon (@Jus1Nyt) July 6, 2015
While it’s great to see Coughlin in the magazine and willing to show off her swimmer’s body, she sounded off on her thoughts about the Body Issue with Swimming World Magazine.
“One of the things I love about the Body Issue so much is that it celebrates the bodies that allow us to be successful in our sport. As a sports fan, I love seeing the differences in body types.”
Possibly one thing that’s very overlooked about Coughlin, is the fact that she’s had so much success even while competing with scoliosis. Coughlin spoke with ESPN in a recent interview to talk about multiple things, including her scoliosis. In that interview, Coughlin opened up about the scoliosis, while mentioning that she didn’t actually find out she had it until she was 30.
“It’s a 27-degree curve, so when I get into the racing portion of the season, I have to be very careful. All the muscles along my spine, they lock down if they’re not healthy. That’s when I lose the ability to articulate my spine. It actually went undiagnosed for a long time. I was 30 when I finally got a doctor to X-ray me. I saw the image, and it took my breath away. I think because swimming is such a full-body exercise, my muscles developed and hid it.”
Coughlin is a stellar athlete and one who, in all honesty, was a perfect fit for the ESPN Body Issue. It’s also pretty obvious that while many sports see athletes slow down at the age of 30, this isn’t true for Coughlin. Back at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, Coughlin took home a gold medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay.
To top it off, Coughlin is currently tied with Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the most United States Olympic Medals with 12.
Be sure to check out Coughlin as well as the multiple other athletes in the body issue, which hits newsstands on July 10.
[Image via Alexander Hassenstein]