Confident swimmer poses in Playboy first

Swimmer Elena Krawzow has become the first Paralympian to star on a Playboy cover.

Krawzow — who has only three per cent vision — posed topless for the German version of the famous magazine.

The 26-year-old pouted at the camera and held her hair in her hands as she stripped down for the photo shoot.

She said afterwards: “I couldn’t turn down this opportunity.

“The two days of shooting that I had were great. I’ve always wanted to experience a day as a professional model and I did that. I had a lot of fun.

“After it became known that I was on the Playboy cover, there was, of course, a lot of excitement.

“Some were very shocked but I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by all the great feedback and many compliments.”

The Kazakhstan-born athlete, who has Russian roots, was diagnosed with Sargardt disease — a genetic eye disorder — aged seven and has continued to progressively lose her sight ever since.

Krawzow moved to Germany aged 12 with her family and took up swimming as a 16-year-old in 2009, having been invited to join a training session at a club in Nuremberg.

Krawzow specialises in breaststroke as well as freestyle and three years after taking up the sport, she medalled at the 2012 London Games.

The five-time European gold medallist won silver in the 100m breaststroke and qualified for the Rio Olympics four years later, but missed out on a podium finish in Brazil.

The visually impaired star hopes to compete at the delayed Tokyo Games, which have been pushed back to 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But she took time out of training to shoot for Playboy and attended an after-party event at the publication’s headquarters in Munich.

Krawzow said: “I got to know a lot of new people and also the Playmates from previous years. We got on well and had a great evening.

“I have really been very busy organising interviews and filming in the swimming pool and at home.”

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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