Caitlyn Jenner covers Sports Illustrated wearing her 1976 Olympic medal

cait SI

Well, here she is. Caitlyn Jenner covers the new issue of Sports Illustrated, just shy of the 40th anniversary of her Olympic win in 1976. Caitlyn chose to wear her medal like a medallion-necklace, which is kind of cool as a styling choice, I think. Like, she just looks like she’s wearing a really big statement necklace. These days, Caitlyn is rather ambivalent about looking back on her historic Olympic win, even though she fully acknowledges that she would not be sitting where she is now without the medal. You can read her full SI profile here. Some highlights:

Where she keeps her medal: “Here it is. In my nail drawer. That’s what you can say: It was in the nail drawer.”

How she feels about the Olympics now: “The decathlon was the perfect distraction. Sports. It’s not real life. 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… The medal. It was great for the kids at show-and-tell.”

The NC trans-bathroom law: “It’s a ridiculous law.”

Why she chose to wear the medal on the SI cover: “It’s a picture that brings attention to this issue [of trans rights]. That’s the important thing. That’s why I wore the medal. 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? 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. For those two days in July of 1976, I was the best in the world at what I did. On the other hand, the decathlon was my best friend, and that was over. I lost my beard.”

[From SI]

I don’t know, I think Caitlyn has earned the right to have mixed feelings about her Olympic medal? People made such a big deal about it and bigots tried to say that Cait should “give up” her medal after she transitioned. I’m glad she kept it, I’m glad she wore it on the SI cover and I’m glad she has mixed feelings about it, because it shows that her journey as a trans woman is more significant to her than some medal. That identity and living your authentic self is more important than two days at the Olympics 40 years ago. Caitlyn can be everything, she can be the Olympian and the trans advocate and more. But I’m sure some people will be pissed about this cover and interview.


Photos courtesy of SI, Fame/Flynet.

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44 Responses to “Caitlyn Jenner covers Sports Illustrated wearing her 1976 Olympic medal”

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  1. me says:

    It’s just nice to see they didn’t overdo it with the photoshop. I honestly was expecting her to be almost naked…so this is a pleasant surprise.

    • Mrs. Welen-Melon says:

      She looks lovely. And that medal 110% belongs to her.

      • Noor7 says:

        It belongs to Bruce, not her. She is no longer Bruce, so she has no claim to it, unless of course, its convenient.

      • TrixC says:

        Noor7, you have to be joking. People don’t lose rights over their former achievements just because they transitioned. If I won a sports trophy as a child does that mean I have no rights to it because I’m not a child anymore?

      • Santia says:

        Noor7 – You have to be kidding or trolling, right? She won that medal fair and square.

      • Robin says:

        Noor, that’s ridiculous. Bruce Jenner won that medal fair and square. He was the best decathlete at the 1976 Olympics, and he deserved the victory. Just because she is now Caitlyn, does not change or minimize what Bruce did. The medal is hers, and of course she deserves to keep it.

  2. swak says:

    If the Olympic committee chose not to ask her for the medal back, then it is her right to keep the medal. She earned it no matter what else has gone on in her life.

    • Fee says:

      Agreed. He trained,he won,period. How many athletes later on have committed serious crimes and no one asks them to give up their medal.

    • Tourmaline says:

      I can’t believe anyone would even think of asking her to give it back.
      Very interesting her comments on how her sport was her best friend, distraction, and beard.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Is that a thing? Could they? On what grounds?

      • Annie says:

        Before anyone tried, the Olympic comittee announced that they supported her 100% and they wouldn’t take her medals away, ever.

      • Merritt says:

        I don’t think so. I think they only rescind medals is if there was doping or another rule violation. For example after the Olympics in 2000, it was proven that some of the Chinese gymnasts were too young to qualify for the Olympics.

      • swak says:

        Not saying it would be right, but I could see it happening. On what grounds – not sure what grounds they would have.

    • Robin says:

      The IOC have no right to ask for the medal back. Bruce Jenner won it fair and square, competing as the man he was. Just because Bruce became Caitlyn decades later doesn’t mean that the medal was won under false pretenses.

  3. Bridget says:

    What a strange thing to demand. Caitlyn Jenner transitioning 4 decades after her win has no bearing on the validity of her Olympic win. And considering the amount of weird crap that so many athletes are pumping into their bodies, I think there are bigger concerns when it comes to the integrity of Olympic sports.

    • Krista says:

      It makes no sense to me. That body is the one who earned that medal. A gender didn’t earn it. A body did.

      • meme says:

        that body has changed drastically since Bruce Jenner won the gold medal. since Caitlyn didn’t win it, I don’t think she should pose with it. JMO

      • Flowerchild says:


        That makes no sense everyone’s body changes. If she was in a terrible car accident and was deformed by it, would you still believe she should give back her metal?

      • Tourmaline says:

        @meme Really? What if a decathlete lost their legs in an accident—because their body “changed drastically”, should their medals be snatched back? That argument seems….ridic.

        ETA: @Flowerchild we were having the same thought simultaneously 🙂

      • Tash says:

        @meme Who was there to win those medals? Did that person just evaporate? By the way, everyone’s body changes.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @meme: Any 90 year old former athlete would have to give it back then. Come on. Back then, Bruce Jenner was a biological male, lived like a male, and competed like one. I don’t understand how people can be so petty. How is that even something that you think about?

      • Merritt says:

        That is one of the most illogical things I have ever read. Using that standard, any athlete that suffered a major illness after winning an Olympic medal would also have to give their medals back.

      • Dani says:

        Meme – if we want to get technical, even if Caitlyn stayed Bruce, Bruce’s would have been current body didn’t win that medal either because he would have changed over the course of 40 years, so should he not have posed with it either?

  4. Fee says:

    Made some good points, she’s not in a bathing suit which would have brought out all other topics. From a religious stand point, I say live your life, were all gonna be judged at the end by a higher power, who am I to say she’s wrong to live her life as, do I get it,of course not, they barely do. But I’m not going to shun her, my only question is if u decide to transition why keep the male part? U can’t be both?

    • Chloeee says:

      Sure you can. We are complicated beings. Sometimes we contradict ourselves. But that aside, there is a risk factor in going through with surgeries etc. a lot of people don’t want to run the risk of any issues. It’s really only for them and their partner to worry about.

    • Bridget says:

      I’m sincerely not trying to be mean when I say this, but… someone else’s genitalia aren’t your business. Different people make different choices. Caitlyn Jenner identifies as a woman, that’s what’s important.

  5. Tash says:

    I truly don’t understand why some people think she should give up her medals. Or be pissed about her being on the cover with one around her neck. I don’t get it…she earned it.

  6. FingerBinger says:

    The bedazzled jumpsuit was a good choice.

  7. als says:

    I love how she describes the sports world: ‘it’s not real’. Perhaps this is why more and more athletes have trouble adjusting to the rules of life outside professional sports. And perhaps this is why we should see them for what they are: people that work hard to win in their respective sport, nothing more, not idols, not role models.

    • Flowerchild says:

      ^This so much this.

      The worship of these athletes by fans and sports in general is crazy and disgusting.

    • whiskeyjack says:


      That’s a great thing to take from this interview, IMO. Every time an athlete screws up there are people talking about how they’re role models, – won’t someone think of the children – type things are said. I’m always reminded of the George Carlin quote. “If your kid needs a role model and you ain’t it, you’re both f-cked!”

  8. Ash says:

    I think she looks great, and there’s absolutely ZERO reason she should give back an Olympic medal that she rightfully earned.

  9. Penelope says:

    I don’t recall anyone saying she should return the medal (I’m sure they did, though). What a ridiculous proposition.

  10. QQ says:

    Yeah, I mean, all that was said above, Not too much shade she looks nice, is her medal, Vaya con DIos

  11. Merritt says:

    Cailtyn is all style with little substance. Just like the rest of her family. It is a bit rich for her to condemn laws that were put into place by the same type of politicians that she continues to support.

  12. Ursaline says:

    I totally agree that Caitlyn is to be commended for her efforts to be more of role model now than in 1976, and her little jumpsuit is cute while appropriate for the cover shot.

    But am I the only one who gets a little weirded out by the nipples in the photo of her in the teal shirt? I don’t care if it’s a biologically-born woman or a trans woman, fake boobies or real, or even a man, it just seems improper to me. Is that quaint in an age where so many celebrities are posting them selves naked all over the lace?

    • Chloeee says:

      Oh man, I hope no one wears a sports bra I’m a frozen aisle around you. They are nipples. We all got em and sometimes they embarassingly make an appearance through our clothes. We move on.

      • Ursaline says:

        Chloeee, I have nipples too and am not blaming for them making an appearance when the circumstances exist, such as the freezer aisle. And I live near Austin, where we are barraged with so many half-naked titty girls every year that they sell cover-ups in every single grocery store and gas station in town. Clearly I’m not the only one noticing these things.

        I was making the statement because, like the rest of the Kardashian clan, Caitlyn is so overly image-conscious. I simply noted that I found such a detail interesting and ironic, especially given that she looks like a relatively normal person in the photo.

        And as many other people have continually noted over the last decade that I’ve been reading this site, there is no pretense that we aren’t been catty just for the gratuitous enjoyment. Let’s keep that in mind please.

    • pinetree13 says:

      Ursaline, I totally get what you’re saying.

      I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but I too feel uncomfortable when a woman’s nipples are clearly visible beneath her shirt. I guess I do need to reflect on why that it is, but it something I would never, ever, ever, ever do myself.

      Course maybe it’s because I am quite the professional/conservative dresser myself…I don’t even wear tank tops, ever. And it’s not “professional” for your nipples to show through your shirt. It’s weird though, because while I totally relate to what your saying and I have the identical gut-reaction, I also fully get it when people say “it’s a nipple who cares.” Because really, why does it bother me? I don’t know.

      Done my self-examination rant now hahaha

      • Ursaline says:

        Thanks for the validation, pinetree13. I will admit to having to adjust to a minor culture shock when moving from Dallas to the Austin area with its shorts-and-flipflops-at-work atmosphere. I prefer to dress modestly in my own professional image, but I don’t feel the need to police my coworkers or pester women who are breastfeeding in public or anything.

        I think maybe it’s just the fact that it’s such an ordinary-looking picture in every other way (like a family member that you see all the time), and yet it was the irony that such a small detail caught my attention faster than any of Kim’s many famewhore attempts with her big round butt posted all over the internet.

  13. minx says:

    She absolutely deserves her medal. I still think she’s a selfish, shallow person.

  14. KBeth says:

    Jenner earned that medal, to suggest she give it up or is being inappropriate by posing with it is beyond absurd IMO.

  15. uninspired username says:

    I don’t agree with her conservative political views but I am here for this.

  16. Bread and Circuses says:

    When she transitioned, I did wonder how she felt about her Olympic achievements. Maybe she didn’t have a lot of body dysmorphia, but you have to wonder if it’s hard to accept both having an amazing, handsome Olympian body (that women love, when you love women too) — but also knowing that body doesn’t fit who you are inside.