Few have made it on both the cover of Vanity Fair in a corset and the cover of Sports Illustrated with an Olympic gold medal. But since announcing her transition last year, Caitlyn Jenner has continued to break barriers. Now, 40 years after her record-breaking Olympic victory in Montreal, the 66-year-old appears on the latest cover of Sports Illustrated covered in gold sequins and with her gold medal to match.
This marks Jenner’s first time wearing the medal around her neck since the victory. "It's a picture that brings attention to this issue," Jenner told SI. "That's the important thing. That's why I wore the medal." Jenner appeared on the cover 40 years ago as Bruce.
But the medal isn’t something Jenner usually flaunts. In fact, it typically remains tucked away in her nail drawer, she said. Her children’s show and tell presentations were about the extent to which it was put on display.
In the feature, which also includes a 22-minute video, Jenner discusses both her Olympic years as well as her more recent decision to transition.
“My life was distraction after distraction after distraction,” she said of her years as one of the world’s most famous athletes. “Being a macho male was a way for me to try to convince myself that the woman living inside of me really isn’t living inside me.”
After years of grappling with herself, Jenner said she finally made the decision to transition in 2014, once she felt it was the right time for herself and for society. “This issue doesn’t deserve to be in the gutter anymore,” she said.
Though the cover seems to bring her two lives together, throughout the interview, Jenner maintains that she finds more value in her role as an advocate than an Olympic athlete.
The story appears in the July 4 to 11 edition of Sports Illustrated and can be found here.