After winning gold in decathlon at the Montreal Olympics, Bruce Jenner’s celebratory mug, arms thrown up in the air, with the headline “Bruce Jenner Wins Big” was plastered on August 1976’s Sports Illustrated cover. It was a huge deal for the then-25-year-old athlete–today just 22 people have ever won gold in this event). He was confident and charismatic, the winner we all wanted to be.
Now, 40 years later, the Olympian has landed back on the cover of SI. This alone is a pretty impressive feat—and a totally cool way to celebrate a win 40 years later—but even more awesome is that this time, it’s as her true self: Caitlyn.
“I was female inside, but I wasn’t an effeminate male. So I could hide easily in the male world. My life was distraction after distraction after distraction. Being a macho male was a way for me to try to convince myself that the woman living inside of me really isn’t living inside me,” she told Sports Illustrated.
The 66-year-old Jenner fronts the iconic sports mag this time wearing a spaghetti-strap sequin jumpsuit, her gold medal draped around her neck. But it’s her expression, oozing with confidence that we can’t get over. She looks comfortable, sultry, and, frankly like a total badass.
“I am happier, these last 12 months, than I’ve ever been in my life,” Cait says in the SI cover story (which is worth a read). Yeah, we can tell—that look on your face isn’t something that can be faked, Ms. Jenner.
And we love that she still has a soft spot for Bruce. “I’m proud of that part of my life. But this woman was living inside me, all my life, and it reached the point where I had to let her live and put Bruce inside,” she said.
Equally as charming was the announcement she made on Twitter about her latest cover:
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 28, 2016
And the Twitterverse, of course, reacted:
— Teresinha Goncalves (@skin6323) June 28, 2016
Oh, and here’s a look back at the cover with Bruce from ’76, in case that was before your time:
— PayThemDust (@PayThemDust) May 5, 2016
Cait also reveals where she now keeps her medal. It’s in her nail drawer. Obvs. Surely, that’s where we’d keep our Olympic gold if we had one, too.
Cait, we think you deserve a second gold medal (add it to your nail drawer), this time for being such a shining role model, not only when it comes to breaking down barriers for the transgender community, but for being honest and true to yourself. Because, let’s be frank, it ain’t easy. This is one copy of Sports Illustrated we’ll surely be picking up.