This year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is going to feature female gymnasts

Strong work

Simone Biles, Sports-illustrated
(Image credit: Rex)

Strong work

Models from Irina Shayk (who is now pregnant), Chrissy Teigen and Gigi Hadid have all unsurprisingly graced the covers of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue before. Yes, it is the yearly issue that gets worldwide attention but not necessarily for the reason you may think. Sure, it showcases some of the physically fittest women in the modelling industry but the publisher have also been praised for their commitment to diversity.

Last year, the swimsuit issue featured plus-size model Ashley Graham, 28, and she looked bloody brilliant and went on to be the cover star for various other magazines. Sports Illustrated cover alumnus Kate Upton described Ashley's cover as 'stunning. All the cover girls [look stunning], but I was excited that [this issue] showed all the different body types. I think it's important for all girls to see that.'

Sports Illustrated highlighted Kate's point by being quoted themselves saying, 'beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not 'one size fits all.' Beauty is all around us and that became especially obvious to me while shooting and editing this year's issue.'

And, this year will be no different. Thanks to the news of who their upcoming cover stars are going to be (enter team USA gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman), the 2017 Swimsuit Issue will be as big a talking point this year too. 

Having just announced Simone Biles and Aly Raisman as their cover stars of this year, the world is awaiting the pair's debut when the annual issue hits newsstands in the next few weeks. 

Considering the magazine featured UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn inside their 2016 issue, this continues to be a huge moment for female athletes.

Simone Biles and Aly Raisman led their country to team gold back at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and they each won several individual medals, so we can't think of better postergirls for women everywhere. Go Simone and Aly! 

Delphine Chui