This year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is the most diverse yet, so it only makes sense that it feature women with all type of bodies—young, old, curvy, and athletic. In fact, several elite athletes show off all of the beautiful and empowering things their bodies can do inside the magazine, which is on sale now. From SI Swim rookie Mia Kang modeling her fierce muy Thai moves to Simone Biles flexing her muscles mid-handstand, the issue is overflowing with fit-girl crushes. Learn more about where these kickass athletes came from, what gets them excited to sweat, and more.
In 2015, the tennis star was named Sports Illustrated’s sportsperson of the year. Now, the strong and sultry Williams is back, showing her modeling skills off to the world with her awe-inspiring SI Swim photo shoot. Donning high-cut one pieces and barely there bikinis, Williams proudly flaunts her muscular body and we’re so here for it because yes, bathing suits look just as awesome on Olympic gold-winning tennis players as they do on models. You can check out one of her amazing photographs above.
One of Sport Illustrated’s rookies, Kang spends time between modeling gigs practicing Muay Thai. Her Instagram is full of photos and videos of her hitting bags and practicing combinations. She loves her sport so much that she even lived in a house with fellow fighters for six months in between modeling jobs, and has said that if she weren't modeling, she'd be pursuing a professional fighting career.
The Canadian-born tennis star took time off from her career to pose for SI. At only 22 years old, Bouchard has already been crowned Women’s Tennis Association’s Most Improved Player in 2014 and most recently, female player of the year in Canada for 2016. Her social media is a mash up of strength training photos, athleisure inspiration, and shots of her in action on the court. Say it with us: #fitnessgoals.
Photo: James Macari/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
She wowed us during the Rio Olympics, and now Biles is back to remind us just how kickass of an athlete she is. For her Sports Illustrated cameo, the Olympic gold medalist is shown doing handstands, splits, and other moves that require otherworldly flexibility.
The two-time Olympic gymnast hit the floor once again, but this time to model her toned body (and a few amazing swimsuits). Raisman has spoken up on social media about body-shaming bullies and the unkind words she endured as a child, so it’s inspiring to see her on the pages of Sports Illustrated looking confident and healthy.
Wozniacki is a former number-one Women’s Tennis Association athlete, making her the perfect addition to the slew of fit women in this year’s swim issue. This is the tennis star’s third time modeling for SI, and last year she modeled in nothing but body paint. Wozniakci told SI Swim that she loves her curves she doesn’t stress over being photographed.