Lately on the blog we've been pushing around the idea of "too thin" and maybe "too fat" or "not healthy." Basically everyone's idea of what 'healthy' actually is and what it looks like. It turns out healthy and fit can look extremely different...even when it comes to Olympians.
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"The term 'athletic body' conjures up an image of a finely-tuned lean physique complete with a taut six-pack and toned limbs. But a new project by New York-based photographer Howard Schatz has laid bare the wide spectrum of body types that can make an athlete.
In the photos published in his new book Athlete, Schatz displays the sheer upper-body power of Olympic wrestling champion Rulon Gardner alongside the slender lithe forms' of high jumper Charles Austin and rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard.
His series lays bare the variety of heights, widths, body shapes, and muscle mass that make up the physiques of champion athletes across an array of disciplines.
Although their dimensions and vital statistics widely vary, they are all at the top of their game physically and have honed and crafted their physique to match their Olympic sport. Schatz produced the book alongside his wife and editor Beverly Ornstein.
Staring at the camera wearing only black underwear some of the subjects are accompanied by equipment used in their discipline. The award-winning photographer, who primarily works with dancers, was particularly attracted to form shaped by function. The book description reads Schatz: 'reaches the zenith of his photographic paean to the human body, creating an astonishing record of the specialized forms both adapted to the wide spectrum of sport and shaped by fiercely focused effort.
'His subjects, as varied and meticulously documented as Audubon's birds, literally embody the astonishing array of physical perfection required for their particular sports.' Some of the figures which features in the series include Robert Owen Kennedy Jr. an American distance runner. Now retired, he once held the American record in the 3000 metres, 2 miles and the 5000 metres.
He features alongside other household names such as US shot putter and Olympic gold medalist Adam Nelson and former basketball player Alonzo Mourning. Included in the female line-up is four time US Olympian Connie Price-Smith, a shot putter and discus thrower who features alongside Lisa Leslie-Lockwood, a former US professional women's basketball player who is also a four-time Olympic gold medal winner."