For the past couple of weeks, sports fans have been talking about the new Sports Illustrated cover and photos for the magazine’s highly-anticipated annual body issue. And while the stripped-down issue is still commanding attention, SI hasn’t wasted any time in giving fans another magazine issue to talk about, as it’s been revealed that transgender sports icon Caitlyn Jenner has landed the cover of a seperate issue of SI.
According to media reports, rumors were spreading weeks ago that Jenner was to be one of the athletes that would pose nude for the magazine’s body issue. But it looks like either Jenner changed her mind or SI always intended for her to grace the follow-up cover because Jenner is fully clothed and rocking her 1976 Olympic gold medal for an issue that is dedicated to celebrating the 40th anniversary of Jenner’s historic Olympic win.
“Thank you @SportsIllustrated for taking me back down my Olympic memory lane. It was an honor! See the full story and video at SI.com/jenner #goldalltheway #40yearslater #olympics,” Jenner captioned a post of the cover on Instagram.
In the issue, Jenner revealed that, unlike most other Olympic winners, she keeps her gold medal inside of her nail drawer instead of on display in her home.
“It was great for the kids at show-and-tell,” said Jenner before explaining that she wore the medal as a way to bring attention to transgender issues. “It’s a picture that brings attention to this issue,” Jenner said. “That’s the important thing. That’s why I wore the medal.”
Jenner also looked back on her ’76 win, in which she set a new world decathlon record, and explained that she actually hated her body during that era of her life when she still identified as a man.
“I was big and thick and masculine,” she added. “The rest of the world thought it was this Greek god kind of body. I hated it. But it’s what I was given, so I just tried to do the best I could with it.”
Despite her negative feelings about her old body, Jenner explained that she will always look back with fondness over her old life as an Olympic champion.
“I loved Bruce,” she said. “I still love him today. I like what he did and the way he set an example for hard work and dedication. I’m proud of that part of my life. But this woman was living inside me, all my life, and it reached the point where I had to let her live and put Bruce inside. And I am happier, these last 12 months, than I’ve ever been in my life.”