Members of Canada’s bronze medal winning soccer team turn heads in Sportsnet Magazine

After making history with the Canadian women’s soccer team at the London 2012 Summer Games, Kaylyn Klye, Lauren Sesselmann and Emily Zurrer are ready for their close-up. The trio was featured in Sportsnet Magazine’s Beauty of Sports issue. With the soccer contingent winning Canada’s first medal in a Summer Games team sport this century, Canadian sports fans have a new group of heroes to cheer for.

Kaylyn Klye, Emily Zurrer and Lauren Sesselmann

Kaylyn Klye, Emily Zurrer and Lauren Sesselmann

Flown to Las Vegas, photographer Matt Barnes captured their captivating beauty throughout various Vegas venues. Kaylyn Klye, a 24-year old from Saskatoon was part of the Canadian team that also captured the gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games. Photographed at the Moorea Beach Club, Mandalay Bay and the Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, Kyle modeled swimsuits from BCBGMAXAZRIA, Victoria’s Secret and Under Armour.

Originally hailing from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Lauren Sesselmann is a member of the red and white. At 29, she brings a veteran presence to the pitch. Like Kyle, she was also part of the 2011 Pan Am gold medalists. Like Kyle, some of her shots were taken at the Moorea Beach Club and the Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, while the remainder was at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden. In addition to swimsuits from Victoria’s Secret and Cascata, she modeled accessories from H&M, along with Target.

Emily Zurrer brings a Pacific flavor to the trio. Hailing from Crofton, British Columbia, the 26 year-old was adorned in Victoria’s Secret at the Moorea, while featuring accessories from Ray-Ban and H&M. She is also a teammate of Kyle’s with the Seattle Reign. Professionally, her career also included stops in Sweden (Dalsjofors GoIF), Germany (SG Essen-Schonebeck) and with Vancouver Whitecaps.

As a student at the University of Illinois, she was a three-time All-America selection, along with three nods to the All-Big Ten team. Like Kyle, she also has a charitable side which was evident in her involvement with Illinois’ Hometown Heroes program.

With a career that has included 50 caps with the Canadian National Team; she made her debut on July 3, 2004 at the tender age of 16. In a friendly against the United States, she played with legendary Canadian player Charmaine Hooper.

It would take another seven years before Zurrer would score her first goal for Canada. As part of a first place performance at the 2011 Cyprus Cup, it would prove to be an event to remember. Said goal was scored in a 1-0 triumph over Scotland. She would follow it up with the game-winning goal against Netherlands to clinch first place.

Born in Wisconsin, Lauren Sesselmann is a versatile player that can handle the forward and defender positions. As her father was born in Newfoundland (her mother was born in Michigan), she would claim Canadian citizenship in 2010. Although her first cap for Canada came at the age of 28, her veteran presence showed as she competed in the full 90 minutes.

Growing up, she admired Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm and would help her high school to a state championship. From 2001 to 2005, she would compete for Purdue University Boilermakers. After her collegiate career, she would hold six program records. Like Zurrer, she was also selected to the First Team All-Big Ten.

Professionally, she would compete with various franchises in the United States while accumulating 14 goals. Starring with FC Indiana in the W-League, she later moved on to the Atlanta Beat (where Hope Solo was a teammate) in Women’s Professional Soccer. This year, she is a member of FC Kansas City in the newly formed National Women’s Soccer League.

While she was also selected as the Sports Babe of the Day on the popular female sports site Babes Dig Balls, Kaylyn Kyle has a compassion that encompasses her inner beauty.

Serving as a Right To Play Ambassador, Kyle’s commitment in ensuring that the values of the best practices of sport and play can reach those in less fortunate parts of the world is a strong passion. In 2009, she was part of a fund raising effort with the National Team in which every goal scored and every shutout earned would result in a donation to Right to Play.

As a teenager, she competed with the University of Saskatchewan and made her debut for the national team in 2008 as a 19 year-old. Professionally, Kyle has competed with the Vancouver Whitecaps of the W-League (where Zurrer was a teammate in 2010), Pieta IF in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan and is a current member of the Seattle Reign in the NWSL.

While the 2012 London Summer Games was the coming-out party for Kyle, she paid her dues by representing Canada in two Under-20 World Cups. In 2008, FIFA’s Under-20 Technical Study Group noted she had excellent awareness of defensive duties, good timing of passes and composure in possession. She is one of only 26 women that have played in at least 50 games for Canada.

Looking as comfortable in a swimsuit as she does in a soccer jersey, it may come as no surprise that fashion is another of her great interests. With ambitions to be involved in the fashion industry once she hangs up her jersey for good, there is no question that the camera loves Kyle.

Photo credit to Matt Barnes

Sportsnet Magazine’s Beauty in Sport Issue captures the essence with several captivating athletes

With photo shoots ranging throughout Canada and a rigorous five day shoot in Las Vegas, Sportsnet Magazine released its second annual Beauty in Sport issue. Although some critics could dismiss the publication as competition for the ESPN Body Issue, the reality is that both give the opportunity to spotlight female athletes who toil in anonymity for little recognition.

As Sportsnet is a Canadian periodical published by Rogers, the athletes featured between the covers are all Canadian. With 28 athletes featured, 19 are female. While even the most dedicated sports fan would have difficulty identifying the names of the female athletes (and the sport they compete in), their beauty and sex appeal is only part of the package.

The one common factor among all athletes is injuries, and bumps and bruises were evident with some of the athletes. X-Games world champion Kelsey Serwa arrived with a swollen knee due to surgery. Canadian soccer sweethearts Kaylyn Klye and Emily Zurrer both had scrapes up to their thighs.

In being an athlete, the commitment involved takes great desire, and the discipline and dedication required is a unique quality. Their hard work and character displays a very strong, rugged yet admirable inner beauty that makes them role models for all athletes, male or female.

While publisher Steve Maich acknowledged that it was different working with athletes because they were not models, he was also quick to acknowledge that all the athletes were likeable people. Although many of the female athletes are not household names, there was a few that certainly left their mark in the world of sport.

Competing in the cross-country mountain biking competition at London 2012, Brooklin, Ontario’s Emily Batty was the cover girl for the issue. The blonde beauty did not medal at London, but she certainly captured the hearts and minds of many sports fans with her magnetic smile on the cover.

Three females were gold medalists at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games; Kallie Humphries, Tessa Virtue and Meaghan Mikkelson. While all three come from very different sporting backgrounds – bobsleigh, ice dancing and ice hockey – all three are authentic Canadian heroes.

Mikk Meaghan Mikkelson

Another trio of heroes highlighted the females featured in the Beauty of Sport. A tantalizing trio of members from Canada’s soccer team that gained bronze at the 2012 London Summer Games was photographed in Las Vegas. Featuring Kaylyn Klye, Lauren Sesselmann and Emily Zurrer, all three donned their swimsuits while a dolphin would leap in the background behind them.

Rugby teammates Barbara Mervin and Brittany Waters also exchanged their shorts and jerseys for swimsuits. Mervin, 31 and Waters, 30 are also members of the British Columbia provincial rugby team. The dynamic duo was photographed together at the MGM Grand and the Neon Museum.

Barbara Mervin and Brittany Waters

Barbara Mervin and Brittany Waters

Of note, Mervin is accustomed to the camera. Having played with the national team since 2004, she was also part of a nude calendar in 2012 that featured members of Canada’s women’s rugby team.

While she leaves enough for the imagination, it is important to emphasize that Swervin Mervin (as she is affectionately known) is more than just beautiful. There is an even greater beauty beneath the surface. Having transitioned from 15s to 7s, she spends a remarkable five hours a day in training. She is an empowering woman whose great sense of teamwork, assistance with summer camps and coaching at the University of Victoria comprise makes her a role model for young women looking to get into sport.

Of all the athletes that ventured down to Las Vegas, the most unique may have been Summer Mortimer.
Mortimer Summer Mortimer

After a trampoline accident caused significant damage to the bones in her feet, she displayed great courage by learning to swim again. Having won four medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, she was one of Canada’s sweethearts at the event. Along with five world records in para-swimming, she was also named an Athlete Ambassador for the 2015 Toronto Parapan Games. Appropriately, she grew up near Toronto in Burlington. At 20 years old, not only does she conduct herself with a quiet dignity and grace that makes her an admirable athlete, but she was one of the youngest athletes featured in the publication.

While she is the first paralympic athlete to appear in the Beauty of Sport, it is worth noting that the ESPN Body Issue has also featured physically challenged athletes. As Swimming World Magazine stated in a review of Mortimer appearing in the issue, athletes are not only a vision of health, but these kinds of photo shoots promote a healthy lifestyle and set a positive example.

Six other athletes were photographed at Las Vegas. Among the group, it included volleyball player Claire Hanna, a three-time CIS national champion with the UBC Thunderbirds. Forty year-old curler Heather Smith-Dacey and Kelsey Serwa, who competed in the Ski Cross at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games was photographed at Red Rock Canyon.

World Cup skeleton champion Melissa Hollingsworth, a bronze medalist from the Torino Winter Games was photographed at the MGM Grand. Joining her at the venue was 2012 FIS World Cup gold medal skier Erin Mielzynski.

Four other athletes from this remarkable group of women were photographed in Toronto. A pair of track and field sensations, Brianne Theisen and Phylicia George was photographed at Monarch Park. George finished in the 100 meter hurdles at London 2012, while Theisen competed in the Heptathlon.
Sarah Wells, a competitor in the 400-meter hurdles at London 2012 modeled Nike (like George) for her photo shoot. Taylor Pischke, a beach volleyball player with six Canadian national titles was photographed wearing Miss Jackson swimwear at Ashbridges Bay.

Credit goes to Maich who acknowledged that compared to other countries, Canada needed to do a better job at elevating their athletes to star status. While fans may already be anticipating the 2014 edition, there is no question that the athletes featured are helping to shed a positive light on Canadian sport.

Photos of Summer Mortimer, Barbara Mervin and Brittany Waters and Meaghan Mikkelson by Matt Barnes