Strong, Sexy, and Beautiful: Olivia Dunne’s Empowering Message in SI Swimsuit

LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne has debuted in Sports Illustrated’s iconic Swimsuit issue. The 20-year-old was announced as the newest Swim Model of 2023, with a video montage showcasing her floorwork, TikTok account, and behind-the-scenes footage of her first shoot with photographer Ben Watts in Puerto Rico in January.

“I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Dunne said. “The way SI Swimsuit has evolved and become such a positive spotlight for women to tell their stories and spread incredible messages of being strong, sexy and beautiful.”

Dunne’s participation in the Swimsuit issue is a dream come true for the gymnast, who is the highest-paid college gymnast due to her endorsement deals with companies like American Eagle, Vuori, and Plantfuel.

As a social media sensation with 11 million followers across TikTok and Instagram, Olivia Dunne has become the face of the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness rule, which allows college athletes to profit from their personal brand. According to reports, her net worth is around $2.3 million.

Dunne’s appearance in the Swimsuit issue is significant not only for herself but also for female athletes. As a gymnast, Dunne has broken stereotypes by becoming the face of the NCAA’s rule change, which many expected to benefit athletes in more traditional sports like football or basketball.

SI Swim’s editor-in-chief MJ Day praised Dunne’s talent and role model status for younger athletes. “Livvy is harnessing this newfound power and turning it into a long-term, sustainable brand, growing the sport of collegiate gymnastics and setting an example for athletes of the future of what they are also capable of accomplishing outside of the competitive arena,” Day said.

Dunne’s inclusion in the Swimsuit issue is a testament to her dedication to her sport and her ability to transcend it, becoming a trailblazer for female athletes everywhere. Her appearance in the Swimsuit issue will surely inspire many young athletes to follow in her footsteps.

Image Credit: @si_swimsuit
Photographer: @wattsupphoto
Editor in chief: @mj_day
Hair: @anthonycristianosalon
Makeup: @bryanzaragoza_
Styling: @margotzamet
Production: @cindiblairproductions
Location: @discoverpuertorico
Swimsuit: @entire_studios