Track and field's hottest souvenir is racy enough to make Austin Powers flash his crooked smile and say, "Oh, behave." The Omni-Lite Millennium Calendar of Champions, dreamed up by U.S. high jumper Amy Acuff, shows some of track and field's elite women in the nude, is the calendar, which goes on sale on June 20 at Acuff's Web site (www.trackgirls.com), too shagadelic? "There's a fine line between exploitation, sexism and celebration," says USA Track and Field president Craig Masback. "Those who took part in the calendar are the best judges of that."
Besides Acuff, who's shown waving an American flag while exposing her red-white-and-blue-painted torso, the calendar features Angie Vaughn (right), the world's third-ranked 100-meter hurdler, high jumper Tisha Waller and nine others. "One girl's husband had a problem with it. Otherwise we've been hearing only positives," says the 23-year-old Acuff, whose goal is to drum up publicity for her sport while raising funds for the Florence Griffith Joyner Community Empowerment Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children.
A self-described "beanpole" as a teen in Corpus Christi, Acuff says she built strength and confidence through sports. "All the girls were afraid that if they lifted weights they'd turn into men," says Acuff, who ranked fifth in the world in '98. "Girls are still misled about muscles, but in these calendar pictures our muscles are ripped. It will be good for girls to see that beauty isn't just skin and bones."
She'll get no argument from jocks like Curt Clausen, the top-ranked American 50K walker. "No one on the men's side is complaining," says Clausen. "We're not offended in the least."