New York-based photographer Howard Schatz captures the diverse range of body types of Olympic athletes. Referring to a body as an athletic build is often thought to be a perfect, rippling mass of muscle boasting a six pack, but Schatz’s series reveals the wide variety of heights, widths, body shapes, and muscle mass that make up the physiques of champion athletes across an array of Olympic sports.
Tall, short, heavy and light, Schatz’s series clearly displays the broad spectrum of sizes and shapes that these disciplined jocks come in. Dependent on their field of athletics, their bodies are in peak condition, despite looking so different from one another. While long-distance running athletes are typically lean, this physical feature is undesirable for a weightlifter or wrestler who relies on more muscle and weight to win their respective titles. Just as long legs are preferred for a sprinter, it’s a long torso that works to the advantage of a swimmer. In either case, the Olympians present their version of an athletic body.
Schatz’s series of 125 champion athlete portraits is displayed in his book, aptly titled Athlete, in collaboration with his wife Beverly Ornstein, an award-winning producer and senior editor.