It seems that American television personality Tyra Banks’ favorite athlete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which did not happen last year due to coronavirus, is Japanese professional tennis player Naomi Osaka.
Sports Illustrated has been making history with its Swimsuit Edition since 1964 when the debut cover featured model Babette March in a ‘shocking’ bikini. Since then, the magazine has issued many other groundbreaking cover images. In 2017, for example, Ashley Graham became the first-ever size-16 model to be featured. Tyra Banks became the first Black woman to grace the cover alone in 1997 and then became the magazine’s oldest model at age 45 in 2019.
The American sports magazine is highlighting three models, all of whom are women of color making history in their category; Naomi Osaka, Megan Thee Stallion, and Leyna Bloom. The magazine posted a compilation of the three covers on Twitter. Naomi Osaka differs from the other two cover girls with one feature. The tennis player became the first black woman in SI cover history.
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) July 19, 2021
One of the first to celebrate Osaka was Tyra Banks, the first black female cover and the oldest cover. The former model shared a photo of the magazine with Osaka on the cover of Instagram and expressed her feelings. Saying that she looks amazing, Banks said that she is the gold medal favorite with her booming voice for social justice and also showed her favorite athlete.
Here’s Tyra Banks’ caption:
“The first Black female athlete on the cover of @si_swimsuit! She looks AMAZING!!! Plus, she powerfully lit the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in her home country of Japan on Friday!! She’s biracial. She’s a powerhouse. She’s @naomiosaka! A gold medal favorite with a booming voice for social justice, and her fierce grand slam is SERVING!”
See the Instagram post below.