Forty years after winning gold in the Olympic decathlon at the Montreal Games, Caitlyn Jenner has spoken about the person living inside of her during this period of her life, while posing for a photoshoot that would see her become the cover girl for Sports Illustrated’s Olympic edition.
Jenner appeared on the cover wearing a sparkly jumpsuit, the gold medallion around her neck for the first time in public since the win in 1976.
“It is a startling pose that delivers two messages,” said Tim Layden, the reporter working on the interview.
“The first lands softly, celebrating an ageing sports hero on the anniversary of a proud moment. The second hits more forcefully, a transgender American, thanking her country for its tolerance, and asking for more,” he said.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 28, 2016
“Sports. It’s not real life,” she told SI. “You go out there, you work hard, you train your ass off, win the Games. I’m very proud of that part of my life.
“And it’s not like I just want to throw it out. It’s part of who I am. What I’m dealing with now, this is about who you are as a human being. What did I do for the world in 1976, besides maybe getting a few people to exercise a little bit? I didn’t make a difference in the world.
“If I had not won the Games, if I was not on the Wheaties box and I hadn’t become this, um, this . . . celebrity, would all of this have happened?” Jenner asked in her interivew.
“Certainly life would have been different. The gender issues, I was never getting away from. But things would have been different. I would hope I would be doing some of the things I’m doing today, but certainly not on the same scale.”
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 28, 2016
The profile is accompanied by a 22-minute documentary called Jenner: 40 Years After Gold, which features Caitlyn reflecting on her journey since winning gold in Montreal.
This story appears in the July 4–11 edition of Sports Illustrated.