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Gary Player, 77, to appear in ESPN The Magazine's 'Body Issue'

June 28, 2013

ESPN The Magazine's annual "Body Issue" pays tribute to the impressive work athletes put into their physique, and this year's list of stars slated to appear in the pages is not all that shocking - Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick and gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings are among those who shed their clothes for the issue. However, there is one man who may come as a bit of surprise. Legendary golfer Gary Player will grace the pages, and at 77 he is the oldest athlete ever to appear in the magazine's special issue, according to The Associated Press.

Although Player may seem like an unusual choice given most of the other people in the issue are in their 20s and 30s, he has long held a commitment to healthy aging. The nine-time major winner was among the first golfers to truly dedicate himself to exercising regularly - a commitment that earned him the nickname Mr. Fitness. In fact, in a 2011 interview with The Wall Street Journal, he outlined a workout regimen that would be impressive even for someone 30 years his junior. He exercises for an hour five to six days a week, a routine that includes 1,000 sit-ups a day.

"I like to mix it up so my body doesn't know what's happening, but no matter what I choose, my legs burn at the end," he told the newspaper. "I'm even out there in the South African winters when it's minus-five degrees."

His appearance in the magazine is more to the South Africa native than an opportunity to show off his toned physique. He recently took to Twitter to say he hopes his example encourages others to follow a similar healthy lifestyle for seniors