Not all athletes, including Olympic athletes, are into tanning, even though a Google image search of the word “athlete” displays an overwhelming number of tanned muscle men and women. Being fit and looking great doesn’t mean you need tan skin. In fact, you’re likely to develop sun spots and wrinkles if you do tan. To dispel the tan athlete typecast, we went out in search of Olympic athletes spreading the word about using sun protection for a healthy sunny life. In our opinion, these five women get the Gold for their sun protection efforts.
Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball (USA)
At age 34, Walsh has taken home two gold medals for beach volleyball. Being a native of California she also knows the importance of using sunscreen when playing on the beach. Quoted in Fitness Magazine online, she says, “My mom had skin cancer on her chin, so I know that sun protection is important.”
Christine Rampone, Soccer (USA)
When two-time Olympic Gold medalist Rampone, 37, is on the soccer field she may be focused on the game, but she always uses sun protection before heading out on the field. “I apply sunscreen about an hour before practice, and I get one with as high a SPF as I can find- at least 35, usually a 50,” she says on the Skin Cancer Foundation website. As captain of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team she leads by example for her team as well as the youth she coaches in her spare time.
Natalie Couglin, Swimmer (USA)
As a swimmer and 11-time Olympic medalist, at age 29 Couglin is wise beyond her years to use sweat- and water-resistant sunscreen in the water and encourage others to do so. During her interview with Marie Claire, she says “I’ve been in the sun my whole life, and fortunately, I’ve been obsessed with wearing sunscreen since I was a kid.” Couglin uses the Vertra Face Stick with SPF 38 is her choice as her water-resistant sunscreen go-to.
Victoria Pendleton, Track Cyclist (U.K.)
Pendleton, 31, is a nine-time world champion and was an Olympic gold medalist in individual sprint at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She uses sunscreen on her face and body, and her complexion shows it! “My go-to sunscreen for my face is Elemis Liquid Layer SPF 30. For my body, I like to use a sunscreen from Soleil Organique,” she says in Marie Claire.
Gisela Dulko, Tennis (Argentina)
Dulko, 27, is a former women’s doubles world No. 1 and has won 17 doubles titles. Playing tennis outdoor for a living she’s exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. She keeps her skin naturally beautiful by wearing sunscreen. “I don’t wear any makeup when I play matches, only sunscreen—Avène SPF 30 for face and body,” says Dulko in Marie Claire.