When Katarina first competed in the Olympics in 1984 in Sarajevo, she was known on American TV as a Brooke Shields lookalike, which was a rather imprecise shorthand for "gee, she's hot!" She got innumerable marriage proposals in the mail and a public declaration of love from skier Alberto Tomba (aka Tomba la Bomba). I think the general thought in those days was that driven East German athletes all looked kinda like boys and never smiled. Imagine everyone's surprise when Witt showed up.
I'm the wrong gender to ask about topless Playboy photos; to me they're just tasteless, but then I'm not the target audience. Glad to hear that Butyrskaya found a way to be more modest.