Naomi Osaka has been a hot topic in the media for her incredible tennis skills and for being a voice against social injustice, and now the 23-year-old is making headlines once again for her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover.
“I’m so proud to be the first Japanese and Haitian woman to grace one of the covers. I feel like that multi-cultural background is present in all of the things that I do,” she told Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
The tennis star also talked about growing up and seeing other influential women make the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
“My memories [of the magazine] kind of involves the people that I grew up admiring, so I remember Tyra Banks’s issue, I remember Beyonce’s. Just growing up and watching so many incredible women grace this cover, for me, it feels like a dream,” she said.
Osaka has been recognized by Sports Illustrated before by being named 2020 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year.
“She’s completely resilient. But she has this whole other side of her where she goes on a court, she says nothing. She wears a mask and says everything,” said Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s editor-in-chief MJ Day, referring to Osaka’s face masks for the 2020 U.S. Open.
“Her ability to get the world to pay attention to such an important thing. That is her super power,” said Day.
Osaka has also made headlines recently for her decision to withdraw from the French Open to focus on her mental health and has spoken out about the importance of mental health.
The athlete also talked about body confidence when it came to posing in swimsuits for her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover.
“I feel like if you’re confident in something then eventually it’ll sort of catch on and you’ll just become a confident person,” she said.
Photo Credit: Robert Wilson