Sports Illustrated is not just known for featuring the best athletes in the world, the Swimsuit Issue also features some of the world’s most beautiful people. And sometimes, these two mix when stunning athletes appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Every year, many of us are on the edge of our seats waiting to see who will be on the cover of the highly anticipated Swimsuit Issue. Usually, the honor goes to a household name who will be basking in It Girl status for the next year.
Sports Illustrated is already making history this year by featuring for the first time a visibly pregnant model. Last year, SI Swimsuit Rookie of the Year, model Katrina Scott, will be gracing the pages while sporting her baby bump.
A few athletes have been announced to appear in this year’s issue as well, including five members of the WNBA. But that may have you wondering about the women (and a couple of men!) who came before them. Here are the athletes who have appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Athletes Who Appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Soccer player Alex Morgan, 32, has graced the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2012, 2015 and 2019. The beauty with the boot has been named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, played on the U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympic team, and even appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. She currently plays for the San Diego Wave FC in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Current SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, 35, seemed like she was everywhere a few years ago. That includes the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, where she appeared as one of three cover athletes donning body paint. Earning her status as a household name when competing in the UFC, she still holds the record for most UFC title defenses by a woman.
Not just the queen of alliterative names, American surfer Anastasia Ashley, 35, won her first major national title at the age of 16. Since then, she has continued to impress both on and off the beach, including in the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This vegan even had the guts to appear on Discovery’s Naked and Afraid back in 2017 as a survivalist.
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, 31, is a former professional tennis player who has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA. She eventually retired from tennis in January 2020, but not before appearing in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Serena Williams, 40, is not just one of the most famous athletes in the world, she is one of the most decorated. She has an impressive 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, putting her just one behind the most of all time. In December 2015, Sports Illustrated even named her Sportsperson of the Year, years after she appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2003 and 2004.
Not one to be outdone by her sister, Venus Williams, 41, is a world-class athlete in her own right. Turning pro in tennis at the young age of 14, she has earned seven Grand Slam singles titles to her name. In 2000, she was named Sports Illustrated for Women’s Sportswoman of the Year. Five years later, in 2005, she appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Russian former professional tennis player Maria Sharapova, 35, played professional tennis for a whopping 19 years, from 2001 to 2020. She is the only Russian, and one of only 10 women, to achieve the career Grand Slam—winning all four major championships in her discipline in the same year. She appeared in the 2006 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in a six-page spread.
Aussie Michelle Jenneke, 28, may be a world-class hurdler, but a good deal of her fame came about from her viral sensation pre-game warmup dance that swept the internet in 2012. The next year, she appeared in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This beauty with brains is currently at Sydney University studying mechatronics, a mechanical and electrical engineering combo.
Not to leave out the winter athletes, snowboarder Hannah Teter, 35, is a two-time Olympic medal winner. She took home the gold in the halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and the bronze at the 2010 Winter Olympics. 2010 proved to be a big year for the athlete as she appeared in that year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in a spread dedicated to Winter Olympians.
Former Dutch field hockey player Ellen Hoog, 36, won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 and earned silver in 2016. She has been retired from professional sports since 2017. However, during her reign in field hockey, she did appear in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Eva da Goede
Hoog’s former teammate, Eva da Goede, 33, not only won Olympic gold alongside Hoog in 2008 and 2012 (as well as silver in 2016), she also went on to win an additional gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics. She also appeared alongside Hoog in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
American Jennie Finch, 41, is a former professional softball player. She played on the United States women’s national softball team that won gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue back in 2005.
Leryn Franco, 40, of Paraguay, earned her name as a javelin thrower, competing at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. The athlete has gone on to do films as well, appearing in the 2014 Irish movie Eliza Lynch: Queen of Paraguay. In addition to competing in beauty pageants, Franco also appeared in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
American swimmer Amanda Beard, 40, has two Olympic gold medals, four silver and and one bronze to her name. She first appeared at the 1996 Summer Olympics when she was just 14 years old. The vegetarian appeared in the 2006 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue before posing nude for Playboy the following year.
Former Russian professional tennis player and long-time romantic partner of Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova, 40, became known not just for her tennis skills, but for her stunning looks. Partnered with Martina Hingis, the doubles team won Grand Slam titles in 1999 and 2002 before Kournikova retired from professional tennis the following year, in 2003, due to injuries. It should be no surprise that the blond beauty was featured in the 2004 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Twelve-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, 39, is a former competitive swimmer who broke many records and was a trailblazer for female athletes. During her college career, Sports Illustrated even named her its college Female Athlete of the Year. In 2012, she was once again honored by Sports Illustrated when she appeared in the annual Swimsuit Issue.
Former professional racing driver, Danica Patrick, 40, is the only woman to win an IndyCar Series race with her 2008 Indy Japan 300 victory. She has earned many firsts for women in the world of competitive race car driving, including the highest finish by a woman in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in both 2008 and 2009.
American professional surfer Alana Blanchard, 32, has been conquering waves since she was just 4-years-old and began competing since she was only 9. In the time since, the vegan has earned several championship titles. She was featured in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
The first man to grace our list is none other than Mr. Swim himself, Michael Phelps, 36. Phelps may be the most decorated Olympian of all time with his whopping 28 medals and was declared Sports Illustrated’s 2008 Sportsman of the Year, but he’s also one of only a handful of male athletes to grace the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, which he did in 2012.
Stefanie Maria Graf, more commonly known as Steffi Graf, 52, is a highly decorated former professional tennis player from Germany. She became the first tennis player to earn the coveted Golden Slam in 1988 by winning all four major singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same year. She continues to hold the record for ranking No. 1 in singles from the WTA for an astounding 377 weeks in total. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition back in 1997.
Another man to make the list, professional basketball player Chris Paul, 37, plays in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns. Paul has earned a name for himself as one of the best point guards to ever play the sport. He not only has two Olympic gold medals, he also won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, plus he holds the record for leading the NBA in steals with six seasons. He was featured in the 2012 em>Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Gabrielle Reece, 52, made her name as a professional volleyball player. From 1993 to 1996, Reece was the WBVL skills leader. In 1994-1995, she was the Offensive Player of the Year. Standing at an impressive 6’3”, she also made an unsuccessful play to join the LPGA after training in golf for four years. She appeared in the 1997 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Professional basketball player Skylar Diggins-Smith, 31, plays in the WNBA for the Phoenix Mercury. Even back in high school, she was named National Gatorade Player of the Year then moved on to playing point guard for Notre Dame. She earned a gold medal in the 2020 Olympic Summer Games. She was featured in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition in 2014.
Spanish professional tennis player Rafael Nadal, 35, is the third man on our list. He holds the record for the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles, with 21. Nadal also holds the distinction of being the only male player in history to win an Olympic gold medal in singles and doubles as well as to achieve the career Grand Slam. Like our other two featured male athletes, he also appeared in the 2012 edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #swimsuit – original source here