Louche: Sport Uncovered

By Jo Phillips

The physiques of Olympic stars are soon to be on show, no not just at the up-coming olympics  but by several photographers. Starting with David Ellis  who portrayed these sports champions as somewhat “golden”. Ellis will be exhibiting these photographs in London just in time for the Games in Rio. ‘A Photographic Exhibition of Olympic Champions’ which runs from August 5th to September 5th, 10am-6pm held at Accept & Proceed building. The images give a sense of admiration and heroism because of the golden paper they are printed on.  It is without a doubt, for all their hard work day-in day-out, they deserve to be shown in such a celebratory way. All of the images have a significant difference in character between them, for instance in some we see passion, determination and focus whereas in  others, say the  Bolt portrait,  we can notice that traditional pose we are so familiar with “the shh”. The photos are originally in colour, however the photographer is selling the photos as golden prints  especially for the Olympics and  you can also contact the photographer to buy the prints via his website here.




Usain Bolt

Ben Ainslie

9Laura Trott,

Tom Daley,  Usain Bolt, Chris Froome, Mo Farah all by David Ellis

For a very different take on olympians, why not  naked ones?  We asked John Mahood, art director of the shoot for Sport magazine, a few questions about this wonderful project he art directed below:

Why did you want to get a selection of images of nude sportsmen and women?

I’ve wanted to do a study on the bodies of athletes for a long time, and over the years working at Sport I’ve seen some incredible physiques and wanted to share them with our readers. A long-running nude feature was the best way to achieve this as I wanted to show as wide a range of athletes as possible, men and women in a variety of disciplines and poses. It certainly wasn’t the easiest sell to athletes and there was some resistance internally to begin with.

14Andy Turner

How on earth did you get them to agree?

Initially it was quite difficult, and there were some very tough conversations between our features editor Sarah Shephard and the athletes and their agents. However, once the first shoots with Louise Hazel, Andy Turner and Kristian Thomas were finished it became easier to convince other athletes that we weren’t doing this to titillate and the images would be not only tasteful but striking.

What also helps get people to agree is that there is no retouching done on their bodies – the only photoshopping I’ll allow is to tidy backgrounds and sort the lighting levels.

On set we would practice the shots fully clothed or in underwear first. It means that they only have to be nude for quite a short period of time. We also minimize the number of people on set so there are not many people watching so generally it’s only the photographer, an assistant and me.We’ve actually found a large proportion of the athletes aren’t bothered by nudity and are more than happy to show off the physique they’ve worked so hard on. James Haskell definitely falls into that category.



Vicky Fleetwood



Marvin Sordell


like to do, some do come in with very defined ideas for shapes they want to achieve.Sport turns 10 on 29 September – the magazine is distributed across London every Friday, and available to download for free for iPad, Kindle Fire and Android devices at sport-magazine/apps.

behindBehind the scenes shoot

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