U.S. sporting hopefuls Hope Solo, Serena Williams and Ryan Lochte take centre stage on Olympic-themed Vogue cover
14:57 GMT, 14 May 2012
Soccer star Hope Solo and tennis maven Serena Williams pose mid-stride with six-time Olympic medalist swimmer, Ryan Lochte, on this month's cover of Vogue.
Part of Vogue's Olympic-themed June issue, it is only the fourth time in the magazine's history a man has been featured on the cover, which has garnered mixed reviews.
Lochte graces the cover shirtless with Solo on one arm and Williams clutching the other, both women wearing gold one-piece swimsuits – an image which has drawn comparisons to Men's Health magazine.
Gold medalists: Part of Vogue's Olympic-themed June issue, Lochte is the fourth man to featured on the magazine's cover, which has garnered mixed reviews
The cover photographed by Annie Leibovitz is a refreshing departure from the usual celebrity and model heavy features, however many are complaining its sporty look lacks high glamour.
Reminiscent of a scene from Baywatch, the healthy looking team run arm-in-arm along a stretch of sand, clad in nothing but their swimsuits.
Many have questioned the cover's lack of colour, high fashion outfits, and quintessential Vogue glamour.
Model swimmer: Karlie Kloss (left) poses with Olympic hopeful Ryan Lochte wearing Haider Ackermann silk-mousseline top and skirt
However the elegant and neutral colour palette is classic Vogue, the glamour added sparingly through the use of gold – perhaps a medalist metaphor – with the twist being a buff looking male taking center stage.
George Clooney, Richard Gere, and LeBron James are the only other men to have graced the magazine's cover.
The new issue featuring the healthy looking athletes is the first cover under Vogue's new health initiative, which was announced at the beginning of May.
Run and jump: Track and Field Olympic athlete Ashton Eaton hurdles over Karlie Kloss wearing an Oscar de la Renta pleated dress
Cond Nast International and the editors of Vogue’s 19 international editions agreed to 'encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry'.
Editors of 18 editions are to launch the initiative in their June issues, while Vogue Nippon will launch in July.
The June issue also features stories on Karlie Kloss, who teams up with America's top male athletes as they set their sights on the gold in anticipation of the London Olympics, along with the elite women athletes who are ready to swim, kick, tumble, and sprint their way to the summer Olympic games.