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Venus Williams, Matt Dawson, Billie Jean King, and Thierry Henry are some of the sports stars who participated in ‘Champions. This black and white nude portrait by photographers Anderson and Low is for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

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“Transcending cultural and socioeconomic boundaries the universal appeal of these athletes made them the ideal subjects for this project,” explains the press release.

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“Their nudity in the portraits is symbolic, illustrating both their physical beauty and prowess alongside their vulnerability and humanity,” it continues. Pick up the ‘Champions’ book by Anderson and Low, which contains a whopping 138 images of the participating athletes.

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via Homotography and Anderson and Low

Before the year ends, we're doing a "Top Shocking 2009" list. Where we bring you back and forth this year on what we considered awesome but missed out.