Balls go bare for a cause

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Naked is the news today. And it’s all sports related.

On Sunday, about 1,800 people bared all for photographer Spencer Tunick, no stranger to mass nude events. They stripped naked at the stadium in Vienna that will host several stages of the Euro 2008 soccer finals in late June.

Tunick says on his web site that he wants to capture the spirit of sports, the sweeping nature of stadium architecture and the relation of human form to modern structures. But, he says, don’t expect him to stage such an event anytime soon in the U.S.:

“My work is a little edgy. It is tough for me to get permission to do things in the U.S.”

Then there are the naked swimmers fighting to go nude in the city pools of Seattle. They are nudists, you see, and they pitch their cause as a fight for greater freedoms and access.

“My personal feeling is that the discrimination and fear of the human body is one of greatest discriminations there is,” says Richard Cummings, a 63-year-old Seattle resident and member of the Body Freedom Collaborative. “The film and magazine industries have tried to make nudism equal sex. It is not. It is a state of undress.”

Pool officials don’t seem too bothered by the baring of it all. They did, though, make sure lifeguards working the naked sessions were at least 21, a move that the nudists complain has limited the number of available guards and thus, their swims.

Then, there’s the Australian Rules Football and Rugby League players who are baring mostly all for a new calendar. It’s for charity, for goodness sakes. Proceeds from “Naked for a Cause” benefit breast cancer research. Now there’s a making-of-the calendar video. (Thanks to Outsports for unearthing this.)

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