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Monday, January 21, 2002
Classic sexiest athletes

Page 2 staff

Katarina Witt
Katarina Witt combined beauty, athleticism, charisma and style.
Inspired by ESPN's World's Sexiest Athlete competition (8 p.m. Sunday, ESPN), Page 2 has put together its Classic Sexiest Athletes, our top 10 of all-time. Before you write in, complaining about the absence of Anna Kournikova or Michael Jordan, please note that an athlete has to be retired from competition to be on our list.

Check out our list and then read how readers ranked their top 10. And be sure to vote in the poll to crown the sexiest retired athlete.

Here's our list:

1, Katarina Witt
The two-time figure skating Olympic gold medalist was a cover girl and appeared in a memorable photo "essay" for Playboy. Also reputed to have turned down fellow gold medalist and well-known loverboy Alberto Tomba.

2. Gabriela Sabatini
As hot, sultry and mysterious as the land of her birth, Argentina.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali: Women loved him and men wanted to be him.
3. Muhammad Ali
As award-winning sportswriter Jim Murray was supposed to have said, "I wish I could be Ali for just 12 hours, because there are six women I always wanted to [go to bed with], and six guys I'd love to beat the [heck] out of."

4. Laura Baugh
A golfer, who still occasionally competes on the LPGA Tour as a non-exempt player, known more for her looks than for athletic prowess. The Anna Kournikova of her day and sport.

5. Jim Palmer
You've got to be at ease with yourself to pose on TV in briefs. And, as they say, confidence is sexy.

6. Florence Griffith-Joyner
Sleek, stylish and fingernails to die for.

7. Gabrielle Reece
Technically retired, which is good enough for us.

8. Julius Erving
Jill Johnson wrote a long article in The Village Voice about the joys of going to NBA games just to watch Dr. J's butt as it moved up and down the court.

Florence Griffith-Joyner
Florence Griffith-Joyner brought a new look to track and field.
9. Wilt Chamberlain
After the book came out, he confessed to a friend that he'd actually bedded "only" 10,000 women. "You know Wilt," the friend supposedly said, "he has to be No. 1 at everything."

10. Anne White
Remember the white all-body suit she wore at Wimbledon? Page 2 does, and we weren't even born yet.

Also receiving votes
  • Peggy Fleming
  • Dorothy Hamill
  • Joe Namath
  • Jean-Claude Killy
  • Chris Evert
  • Sonja Henie