Ellen StonebrakerSwimmerAGE: 20HEIGHT: 5'9''SCHOOL: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON, JUNIOR
Stonebraker aims to be as fast outside the pool as she is in it. "I don't take more than 10 minutes to get ready," claims the Naperville, Ill., native, who gets up at 5:40 a.m. to train. Keeping her hair short helps—as did dyeing her eyelashes black last summer. "I didn't have to put on mascara for three or four weeks!" she says.
Marion JonesTrack-and-field athleteAGE: 24HEIGHT: 5'10½''SCHOOL: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, 1997
Jones, who lives in Apex, N.C., with her husband, C.J. Hunter, 31, an Olympic shotput hopeful, believes that "it's important to get away from the masculine image of female athletes. We come in all shapes, sizes and colors." Dubbed Superwoman by the press and considered the world's greatest female track-and-field competitor today, Jones has proven that she is up to any challenge—unless it comes from her hair. "It gets so dry and brittle," she says. "So I wash it every other day but apply conditioner every day."
Maurice GreeneSprinterAGE: 25HEIGHT: 5'9''SCHOOL: ATTENDED PARK UNIVERSITY IN PARKVILLE, MO.
When Greene takes to the track, "I always hear, 'I love you! I want to marry you!' " he says, laughing. "I really don't pay attention." Perhaps that's because the Granada Hills, Calif., resident has other things on his mind—like newborn daughter Ryan Alexandria, with live-in girlfriend, Rhonda Roquemore, 26, a homemaker. But Greene, who does more than 1,000 situps each day in addition to the 2½ hours he spends running, always pays attention to his appearance: "I make sure my hair is cut and I'm clean-shaven."
Dan Hackett and Chi KredellWater polo playersDAN HACKETTAGE: 29HEIGHT: 6'6''SCHOOL: UCLA, 1992
Water polo athletes "are notoriously casual types," says Hackett, who lives in Laguna Beach, Calif. "We're in the pool so often, we're not worried too much about our looks, so our hair is often messy, and we're walking around in flip-flops." Besides, he figures, "I've got a fiancée [Amber Bersi, 28, a director of operations for an Internet company], so what do I care?" Hackett, a financial services adviser, does care a little. "I'd like to grow a pair of calves," he admits. "But I still have my hair, and I'm happy about that."
CHI KREDELLAGE: 29HEIGHT: 6'2''SCHOOL: LONG BEACH STATE, 1993
Growing up in Seal Beach, Calif., Kredell "had big buck teeth that took a couple of years of braces to straighten out," he says. Unfortunately there's nothing he can do about all the battering that his face takes these days. "I play a position called two-meter defense, which means I guard the other team's center—the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Shaquille O'Neals of water polo—so I get hit a lot," he says. "My battle injuries include a lot of broken noses and sutures on the face."
Lianne NelsonRowerAGE: 27HEIGHT: 5'10''SCHOOL: PRINCETON, 1995
More than a decade of rowing has left Nelson's palms covered in calluses so thick she has to whittle them down with a nail file. "My husband [financial planner Paul Nelson, 30] wonders if my hands will ever go back to a more feminine state," says the Chula Vista, Calif., resident, who works as a financial planner when she's not training. But Nelson says she's more upset that "I work out six hours a day and I still have cellulite!" adding, "I understand how people get liposuction.
Lenny KrayzelburgSwimmerAGE: 24HEIGHT: 6'2''SCHOOL: USC,
1998 When it comes to fighting chlorine, Krayzelburg, who emigrated to the U.S. from Odessa, Russia, in 1989, just can't win. First, he claims, the chemical has caused most of his body hair to fall out. Now it's after the hair on his head, which gets lighter by the swim. But the worst side effect is a lingering odor. "It doesn't matter; I can use as much soap as I want," he says. "I still smell like chlorine."
Blaine Wilson, Jamie Dantzscher, Jay ThorntonGymnastsBLAINE WILSONAGE: 25HEIGHT: 5'4''SCHOOL: ATTENDED OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Wilson—who dates 6'2" U.S. Olympic volleyball hopeful Makare Desilets, 23—. recently let his tongue and eyebrow piercings close up. "My dad begged me to take them out until after the Olympics," says the Colorado Springs resident. But he still has what he calls his "beauty marks"—three tattoos. Says Wilson: "I have one on my ankle, one on my chest and one on my back."
JAMIE DANTZSCHERAGE: 18HEIGHT: 5'1''SCHOOL: SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL, SAN DIMAS, CALIF., SENIOR
Workouts of up to six hours a day and college-prep courses don't leave Dantzscher (who plans to attend UCLA) much time to primp. "Mostly I put my hair in a ponytail and put on a little mascara and a little makeup," she says. But the gymnast has a quick beauty boost. "I get the most comments on my smile," she says, "So I try to smile a lot."
JAY THORNTONAGE: 25HEIGHT: 5'9''SCHOOL: UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, 1997
Thornton's wife, Maryanna, 25, says it was her husband's eyes that first caught her attention. "But later I would have to say it was the abs," admits the Colorado Springs elementary school teacher. Makes sense, considering Thornton does a grueling series of abdominal crunches every day. "If you don't have stomach muscles," he says, "you can't do gymnastics."
Kevin WongBeach volleyball playerAGE: 27HEIGHT: 6'7''SCHOOL: UCLA, 1995
During his junior year of high school on Oahu, Hawaii, Wong was his present height, "but I weighed 40 lbs. less," he says. A former substitute middle school teacher whose students called him Mr. Tall Guy, the L.A.-based Wong says, "It's definitely better now that I've grown into my body." It also helps that his live-in girlfriend, Nicole Ho, 28, is a Gucci display stylist. "She's got veto power over my clothes. I was a plaid-shirt kind of guy in college. If you look in my closet now, there's not a single plaid shirt."
Annett Buckner DavisBeach volleyball playerAGE: 26HEIGHT: 5'11''SCHOOL: UCLA, 1995
As a preteen, "I was overweight," says Buckner Davis, who lives in Santa Monica with her husband, U.S. Olympic swimming hopeful Byron Davis, 29. "My sister put a picture of me on the refrigerator so I'd see myself whenever I went to get something to eat." What a difference a decade makes. "She's long and beautiful and everything's in the right place," observes her husband. Well, almost everything. "Whenever I feel a pimple coming up," Buckner Davis says, "I put some eyeliner on it and pretend it's a mole."
Rio RamirezDiverAGE: 25HEIGHT: 5'6''SCHOOL: UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, JUNIOR
"I wasn't ever geeky, because we didn't have computers growing up in Cuba," says Ramirez, who defected to the U.S. in 1993 during a diving competition. Now studying for a degree in business administration (he took off this semester to train), Ramirez includes salsa dancing—as well as yoga and kickboxing—in his workout routine. "If I'm in a bathing suit, I get compliments on my legs and my butt," he says with a laugh. "But I've also been told I have a nice smile."