Even in its middle ages no one can argue that Swimsuit is not down with the times. Case in point on July 13, 2011, Alex Morgan, a 21-year-old forward for the US Women's National Team scored her first goal in World Cup play, adding another in the final against Japan. The US lost that match but No. 13 with her long ponytail and her pink headband would stick in the hearts of American soccer fans (which, during the World Cup, tends to be all Americans). That love affair reignited one year later at the London Olympics with her heroics that gave the US its chance to avenge the World Cup loss to Japan in the gold medal match, which they did 2-1 (one of the two goals coming on an Alex Morgan assist, mind you).
Long story short, it quickly became clear that the athletic component of our 2012 issue wouldn't be complete without a cameo from America's reigning sweetheart, and if that cameo happened to take place in body paint, well, so be it.
And while I like to think you've read all the way down to here, I understand there are more pressing matters at hand, like the multimedia which bookends this wordy and unneeded explanation of how Alex Morgan came to be a Swimsuit model, so go ahead. Enjoy. And feel free to temporarily forget that this happened in December.
GALLERY: Alex's body painting shoot
GALLERY: Alex at work in 2013