07/12/2013 11:25 EDT | Updated 07/12/2013 12:24 EDT

ESPN Body Issue: We Stare At Naked Athletes And Love It (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

If the guys can have Kate Upton and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues then the ladies are due for their own eye candy.

Enter ESPN magazine's annual Body Issue, which highlights the hottest (and most skilled) athletes in its pages for us to grovel over.

In the editors' own words:

"It's okay to stare. That's what The Body Issue is here for. Each year, we stop to admire the vast potential of the human form. To unapologetically stand in awe of the athletes who've pushed their physiques to profound frontiers. To imagine how it would feel to inhabit those bodies, to leap and punch and throw like a god. To ... well, gawk. So go ahead; join us."

The special issue, which debuted its inaugural edition in 2009, features both men and women who are in their prime - both physically and mentally - and we, the readers, get to reap the benefits.

Trading in their uniforms for their birthday suits, athletes such as Funny Car drag racer Courtney Force, NBA guard John Wall, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and motocross racer Tarah Gieger pose totally in the buff and show off their tattoos, scars and, of course, their muscles.

And it's not just hot, young studs who get to flaunt what their momma (and countless hours of training) gave them; 77-year-old golfer Gary Player strips down to nothing and looks in fine, physical shape.

But don't take our word for it, check out the pics!

Photo gallery ESPN The Body Issue Covers See Gallery