February 05, 2008

The history of attractive sports couples dates back to Mount Olympus where Apollo, a master archer and world-class athlete, had a series of well-known romances, including a famous relationship with Cyrene, a nymph, and Hecuba, the wife of Priam, king of Troy. As far as we can tell, however, none of those couples ever were graded on their attractiveness. With the debut of the 2008 Swimsuit Issue just days away, we commissioned an Olympus-like trio of beauties --Anne V., Julie Henderson and Marisa Miller -- to grade the best-looking couples in sports (Yes, you've got to love a beauty contest when the judges are better-looking than the contestants). We gave our judges photos of 30 current sports couples. They ranked each couple with a 1 to 10 grade, and offered some quick comments about why they made their selections. The 10s were few and far between as Julie proved to be Simon Cowell-like: She dropped a 10 only on David and Victoria Beckham "I would have gone higher than 10 if I could," says Julie. "They just exude sexiness and attractiveness toward each other." Though Marisa didn't know much about Timberwolves guard Marko Jarkic, she gave him love because of his other half. "A guy could be a 0 but standing next to gorgeous Adriana Lima, it doesn't matter...you will still be a 10!"" said Marisa. Two years ago when Anne rated the most beautiful athletes for SI.com, she gave Anna Kournikova high marks because "Enrique Iglesias is a nice piece of ass." (When we asked Iglesias for his reaction, he laughed and said, "I think she has bad taste.") Not surprisingly, Anne dropped a perfect '10' on Anna and Enrique, though they finished second to our winner: The Beckhams.

Here are the sports couples that our models dropped a perfect 10 on:

•David and Victoria Beckham (Anne and Julie)•James Blake and Heather Mitts (Anne)•Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece (Marisa)•Marko Jaric and Adriana Lima (Marisa)•Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias (Anne)

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