Colombian Olympian Isabella Arcila is being featured on the cover of the Latin American version of ESPN: The Body Issue, which features athletes across all sports in nude or semi-nude photos, without ever showing sensitive content. The Body Issue is intended to compete with Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit issue.
Arcila represented Colombia in Rio, placing 30th in the 50m freestyle. On posing in the Body Issue, Arcila stated she wanted to go out of her comfort zone, and that she believes the Body Issue helps athletes face their fears and insecurities about their physical image. You can read all of her comments (in Spanish), here.
Though Rio was her first Olympic experience, Arcila is no stranger to the international scene. Beginning with the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore, she has represented Colombia nine times on the international stage, including three LC World Championships, three SC World Championships, and the 2015 Pan American Games. Most recently she competed at the Short Course World Championships in Windsor, earning semi-final swims in the 100 free (16th) and 50 back (13th). She will represent Colombia at her 4th LC Championships later this month in Budapest.
Arcila isn’t the first swimmer to appear in the Body Issue. Ryan Lochte appeared in the first issue in 2009, and Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin and Nathan Adrian appeared in succession in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2010, two-time Olympic gold medalist from the 1960 Games in Rome Jeff Farrell appeared in the issue as well.
You can see more photos from Arcila’s shoot here, and a behind the scenes video here.