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Winter Olympians in artistic poses for Dutch photographer

Dutch photographer Ewoud Broeksma has long specialized in shooting athletes, especially those who participate in Olympic sports. During the 2004 Summer Games, there was an exhibit of his works in Athens.

With speedskating being center stage in skating-mad Netherlands, it's a great time to look at some of Broeksma's portraits of Olympics athletes. Many of his earlier portraits had the athletes nude, a look now popularized in America in ESPN's The Body Issue. But more recently, athletes have resisted being photographed nude, no matter how tastefully and artistically, Broeksma told Outsports. It appears that in the age of Twitter and Facebook, such images could pose problems for some athletes. It's a shame, since Broeksma is an artist.

Please check out the gallery above that features current Winter Olympians from speedskating and short-track. I like the shots of Dutch speedskater Stefan Groothuis, who won gold in the men's 1,000 meters. What do a speedskater and a cow have in common? "Stefan lives in the country, amidst cows and trees and water," Broeksma said. "Has pulling a cow to strengthen his own muscles. No animals were hurt. The cow got wild a little bit though, because it was the first time out after the winter."

Check out Broeksma's extensive website, especially his gallery of athletes.