Playboy is a popular magazine whose pages have been graced by many famous stars. Female athletes are no exception, and you will find that many have posed for the magazine as well.
There are many reasons a female athlete would choose to pose for Playboy magazine. Some do it for fame or money, while others just do it as a way to combat stereotypes and promote body positivity.
Keep reading to learn more about some beautiful female athletes who posed for Playboy.
Let’s dive in…
- 1. Katarina Witt
- 2. Amanda Beard
- 3. Mia St. John
- 4. Haley Cope
- 5. Gabrielle Reece
- 6. Kiana Tom
- 7. Juliane Seyfarth
- 8. Nicole Reinhardt
- 9. Arianny Celeste
- 10. Ashley Harkleroad Adams
- 11. Amy Acuff
- 12. Maria Butyrskaya
- 13. Christina Lee Hemme
- 14. Rebekka Lynn Armstrong
- 15. Leeann Tweeden
- 16. Lisa Buckwitz
- 17. Janine Flock
- 18. Rena Marlette Lesnar (Sable)
- 19. Anita Marks
- 20. Joanie Laurer (Chyna)
- 21. LaTasha Marzolla
- 22. Ineta Radēviča
- 23. Torrie Wilson
- 24. Maria Kanellis
- 25. Ashley Massaro
- 26. Romy Tarangul
- 27. Oksana (Pasha) Vladimirovna Grishuk
- 28. Petra Niemann
- 29. Mary Sauer
- 30. Katharina Scholz
- 31. Kate Vermeulen
- 32. Luiza Hryniewicz
- Final Thoughts
1. Katarina Witt
Katarina Witt is known as one of the greatest figure skaters of all time. Along with her charming personality, Witt is also a remarkable athlete. She has won two Olympic gold medals, six consecutive European Championships, and four World Championships during the span of her career. Additionally. Katarina Witt served as the model for Playboy magazine’s second ever sold-out issue.
2. Amanda Beard
Amanda Beard is an American swimmer who entered the Olympics at the age of fourteen. She has competed in three Olympics events and won two gold medals, a bronze medal, and four silver medals. Amanda Beard shot for Playboy magazine in 2007.
3. Mia St. John
Mia Rosales St. John is one of the most influential female athletes to pose for Playboy magazine. Although her career started late, she won many competitions. Among some of the titles to her name are the International Female Boxers Association Lightweight World Title and IBA Continental Lightweight Title. She also won the WBC International Female Welterweight Championship. In 1999, Mia St. John posed for an eleven-page pictorial in the Playboy magazine.
4. Haley Cope
Haley Cope, also known as Haley Clark, is an American former competition swimmer and world record-holder. She won a silver medal at the Summer Olympics in 2008. eight World Championship medals, and also held the world record in the 50-meter backstroke. Haley Cope posed for Playboy magazine for the 2004 issue.
5. Gabrielle Reece
Gabrielle Allyse Reece is an American professional Volleyball player, fitness guru, fashion model, sports announcer, and actress. Reece appeared in Playboy multiple times, once on the cover and once fully nude in the 2001 issue. Aside from Playboy magazine, Gabrielle Reece was also named as one of the top five most beautiful women in the world by Elle Magazine in 1989.
Currently, Reece is the co-founder of XPT, a high-intensity fitness program, and has her own podcast called “The Gabby Reece Show.”
6. Kiana Tom
Kiana Tom is an American television host, author, actress, fitness expert, and businesswoman. Her best-known work is her show, Kiana’s Flex Appeal on ESPN, which is one of the highest-rated fitness shows on the channel. Tom has also made an appearance in various movies throughout the years, such as Universal Soldier: The Return (1999), Cyber Bandits (1995), and The Drew Carey Show (1995). In 2002, Kiana posed for Playboy magazine.
7. Juliane Seyfarth
Juliane Seyfarth is a German two-time ski-jumping world champion. In 2021, Seyfarth posed for the German edition of Playboy magazine.
8. Nicole Reinhardt
Nicole Reinhardt is a German sprint canoer who has been competing since 2003. She won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics and eight gold and five silver medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships. She posed for the German edition of Playboy magazine in 2008.
9. Arianny Celeste
Arianny Celeste is an American ring girl, model, and actress. She is one of the most well-recognized faces in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which she has worked for since 2006. Additionally, she has also appeared in movies and shows, such as Batman vs. Catwoman (2013) and UFC 25 Years In Short (2018).
Currently, Celeste is the co-host of the famous TV series Overhaulin’. She has appeared on the cover and in an 8-page pictorial for Playboy magazine.
10. Ashley Harkleroad Adams
Ashley Harkleroad Adams is a former American professional Tennis player. Harkleroad first competed at the International Tennis Federation tournament in 1999 when she was just 14 years old. After the 2008 French Open, Harkleroad told the press she would appear in that year’s Playboy issue. She also said that Amanda Beard’s pictorial for Playboy inspired her.
11. Amy Acuff
Amelia Lyn Acuff is an American field and track athlete known for being a high jump specialist. She has competed in five Olympic games in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. In 2004, Acuff posed for Playboy along with various female athletes in a Playboy special edition issue.
12. Maria Butyrskaya
Maria Viktorovna Butryskaya is a former Russian figure skater. She won the 1999 World Championship and is also a three-time European Championship winner. Butyrskaya also competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics where she won fourth and sixth place respectively.
She is a well-known name in Russia, where she won the national Russian Figure Skating Championship six times. In 1998, Maria posed for the Russian edition of Playboy magazine.
13. Christina Lee Hemme
Christina Lee Hemme, better known as Christy Hemme, is a former American professional wrestler and model. She is well-known as a ring announcer and original Knockout in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. She also worked for the WWE but was released from her contract in 2005. Christy Hemme posed for Playboy magazine in 2005 for the cover as well as a nude pictorial.
14. Rebekka Lynn Armstrong
Rebekka Armstrong is an American former bodybuilder and model. She is one of the biggest HIV/AIDS activists in the country. In September 1986, she was Playboy Playmate of the month.
15. Leeann Tweeden
Leeann Tweeden is an American model, sports commentator, and radio broadcaster. She is of Spanish, Filipino, and Norwegian ancestry and grew up in Virginia. Currently, she co-hosts Dr. Drew Midday Live on Radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles. She posed for Playboy magazine in 2011.
16. Lisa Buckwitz
Lisa-Marie Buckwitz is a German bobsledder and skeleton racer. She competed in the two-woman event at the 2018 Summer Olympics and won a gold medal. In February 2022, Buckwitz posed for the cover of the German edition of Playboy. In an accompanying interview with the magazine, Buckwitz discussed the importance of feeling confident in your own skin.
17. Janine Flock
Janine Flock is an Austrian skeleton racer who competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. She is the first Austrian woman to win an overall World Cup skeleton title. Flock also posed for the cover of the German edition of Playboy in February 2022 along with Buckwitz. She spoke with Playboy about the importance of body positivity.
18. Rena Marlette Lesnar (Sable)
Rena Marlette Lesnar, better known as Sable, is a former American professional wrestler. She currently works as a model and actress. She started working for the WWE in 1996 and gained immense popularity. Although she started working for WWE as a valet, she went to compete in the ring and won WWE Women’s Championship.
Lesnar has appeared in Playboy magazine three times. When she made her debut in Playboy in 1999, it was one of the highest-selling issues of all time.
19. Anita Marks
Anita Susanne Marks had a short-lived but successful career as a professional football player. She served as the quarterback for two women’s professional football teams: the Florida Stingrays and Miami Fury. In 2002, Marks was approached by Playboy and decided to shoot with them to argue that women who play sports can also be attractive. Currently, Marks is a radio personality and sideline football reporter.
20. Joanie Laurer (Chyna)
Joan Marie Laurer, better known as Chyna, was an American professional wrestler, glamour model, television personality, bodybuilder, and pornographic actress. She started working for the World Wrestling Federation and gained immense fame. In 1997, the WWF billed her as the “Ninth Wonder of The World.” Chyna posed for Playboy magazine in 2001 after she left the WWE.
Unfortunately, Chyna passed away in 2016 due to an overdose of alcohol combined with anti-anxiety medications and painkillers.
21. LaTasha Marzolla
LaTasha Marzolla is an American kickboxer and Mixed martial arts fighter. She is currently competing in the Tuff-N-Uff Amateur Fighting Championships. While many remember Marzolla for her work with Playboy, she is an immensely capable athlete. In 2002, Marzolla first appeared in Playboy but has been on the cover multiple times. After appearing in several Playboy Special Edition series, Marzolla was named Model of The Year in 2004.
22. Ineta Radēviča
Ineta Radēviča is a Latvian former athlete best known for competing in the long jump and triple jump categories. In 2003, Radēviča won the bronze medal while competing in the European U-23 championship. She also won two NCAA championships when competing for the University of Nebraska.
23. Torrie Wilson
Torrie Wilson is an American former professional wrestler who has posed for Playboy twice. Before working for WWE, Wilson won the Miss Galaxy competition in 1999. In 2003, Torrie Wilson posed for the cover of Playboy magazine, but she shot with Sable in the special edition of Playboy in March 2004.
24. Maria Kanellis
Mary Louis Kanellis-Bennet is an American professional wrestler, wrestling manager, actress, model, and singer. She currently appears in Impact Wrestling as a member of Honor No More. She is best known for her time in Ring of Honor and WWE. Kanellis shot for Playboy in 2008 and appeared on the cover.
25. Ashley Massaro
Ashley Marie Massaro was an American professional wrestler on the WWE after winning the WWE Diva Search in 2005. She posed for Playboy in 2007 and is best known for her appearance in Survivor: China. In 2019, Massaro allegedly committed suicide at the age of 39.
26. Romy Tarangul
Romy Tarangul is a German judoka, meaning a master in Judo. She competes in the under 52-kg category for JC 90 Frankfurt. Tarangul won the silver medal at the European Championships in 2008. She also competed at the Beijing Olympics afterward, where she won 9th place. She posed nude for the German edition of Playboy magazine in 2008.
27. Oksana (Pasha) Vladimirovna Grishuk
Oksana (Pasha) Vladimirovna Grishuk is a Russian former competitive ice dancer. From 1989 to 1998, Grishuk partnered with another famous competitive ice dancer, Evgeni Platov. Together, the two won the Olympic gold medal twice, the World Championships four times, and the European Championships three times.
Grishuk posed for the Russian edition of Playboy magazine after her first Olympic win.
28. Petra Niemann
Petra Niemann is a German yacht racer who competed in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2008, Niemann posed for Playboy along with her teammates Nicole Reinhardt, Katharina Scholz, and Romy Tarangul.
29. Mary Sauer
Mary Sauer-Vincent is an American pole vaulter whose best jumpis 4.65 meters, achieved in 2002. She competed in the World Championships in 2001 and 2003, and the IAAF World Cup in 2002. Sauer posed for Playboy magazine in 2004.
30. Katharina Scholz
Katharina Scholz is a German field Hockey player who competed at the Summer Olympics in 2008. She won the Champions Trophy along with her team (Geramn Team) in 2006, and the European Championship in 2007. In 2008, Scholz posed nude for the German edition of Playboy magazine and so did her teammates.
31. Kate Vermeulen
Kate Vermeulen is a Canadian athlete who competes in various international championships. She last competed in 800 m in the Telstra Melbourne Track Classic 2006 and won sixth place. Vermeulen posed for Playboy magazine in 2004, citing that it was an “expression of strength, beauty, and courage in sports.”
32. Luiza Hryniewicz
Luiza Hryniewicz is a Polish swimmer who won gold in the Junior European Championships. She is best known for her success at the Junior European Championships in 2005 for the 50 m breastroke category, and bronze medal at the Junior European Championships in 2006 for the 50 and 100 m breastroke category.
There are many female athletes who posed for Playboy magazine, each citing their own reasons. While some perceive it as a way to attract attention, many women have clarified that it is only a way to express their beauty and sexuality. Learn more about Playboy magazine through this insightful video: