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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Former Wildcat poses for Playboy

    Former Wildcat swimmer Amanda Beard poses in and out of the water in an eight-page pictorial and on the cover of Julys Playboy.
    Former Wildcat swimmer Amanda Beard poses in and out of the water in an eight-page pictorial and on the cover of July’s Playboy.

    Former UA swimmer Amanda Beard has been on the cover of a national magazine wearing almost nothing before.

    The September 2004 issue of FHM boasted her image with the caption “”Sexy Olympic special”” and reappeared on the cover of the magazine again last year. She was featured in the 2005 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, along with former Wildcat softball player Jennie Finch.

    But never before has a magazine contained nude photos of whom FHM considers the “”world’s sexiest athlete.””

    Until now.

    The July issue of Playboy was released Friday, with Beard, 25, posing in and out of the water in an eight-page pictorial and on the cover.

    “”People remember me for being a scrawny 14-year-old carrying a teddy bear,”” Beard said on her Web site, www.amandabeard.net, speaking of her participation in the 1996 Olympic Games. “”When they see me, they’re either shocked that I’m not older or shocked that I’m not still 14.””

    She’s also remembered for the seven Olympic medals she’s won and for capturing an individual title in the 200-yard breaststroke at the 2001 NCAA Championships under current UA head coach Frank Busch.

    That was before modeling was her forte.

    “”That wasn’t part of her mentality at the time,”” Busch in a phone interview Friday. “”Her mentality at the time was just to be the best athlete she could be. After the Olympics (in 2004) some other doors opened up and things changed. … She’s more into the Hollywood scene now.””

    The most interesting aspect of the risquǸ photo shoot, Beard said, will be the reaction of the swimming community and of the people she swims against.

    “”The more I can distract them from my swimming, the better,”” she said.

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