Olivia Culpo, Jasmine Sanders and Kate Bock Are 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Cover Models

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Kate Bock, Jasmine Sanders, Olivia Culpo
Yu Tsai

The 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has found its cover girls! Olivia Culpo, Jasmine Sanders and Kate Bock star across four new covers for the magazine, the photos for which were taken in Bali, Indonesia, back in November.

In addition to a stunning group shot of the trio, each woman appears on their own individual cover.

"These three women who make up the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue are inherently unique but a solidarity exists among them in terms of their ambitions, goals and what they stand for," SI Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day says. "These women are limitless and unstoppable, and collectively represent the next wave of moguls to come out of the franchise."

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It has been a long, long wait, but the time has finally come. @katebock, @goldenbarbie and @oliviaculpo are your SI Swimsuit 2020 cover models. The trio were photographed by @yutsai88 in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Bali, Indonesia, back in November. Did we mention the best part? Not only are we giving you one cover showcasing these extraordinary and empowering women together, but we also have three additional covers, one of each model individually. This marks a first for the brand: three powerful women. Four incredible covers. One groundbreaking issue. “These three women who make up the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue are inherently unique but a solidarity exists among them in terms of their ambitions, goals and what they stand for,” says SI Swimsuit editor-in-chief @mj_day. #SISwim2020 is on newsstands and online Tuesday, July 21st! Head to the link in bio for more. @yutsai88 @tracymurphymua @jrugg8 @sooribali @cathaypacific #sooribali #cathaypacific

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A former Miss Universe, Culpo, 28, marks her third appearance and first cover with her inclusion in this year's issue.

"Olivia Culpo is one of the hardest working people in the industry. I have never seen her give anything less than 200% toward whatever goal she sets for herself. Her accomplishments speak to that and are vast and impressive," Day says. "It gives me great joy to celebrate such an exemplary professional and hardworking individual whose unapologetic enthusiasm will shine from the cover of our magazine."

Culpo says she was "SO surprised" that she landed the cover this year, adding that "the news came out of nowhere."

"I was so caught off guard and I cried immediately, followed by a shot of tequila after the call," she admits. "I should probably add that I was on vacation in the Bahamas when they told me!"

Culpo was quick to call her parents after learning that she'd appear on this year's cover.

"My dad is a talker so I was petrified the entire state of Rhode Island would find out by the end of the day before it was officially announced. I had to swear him to secrecy," she jokes. "My parents know this was a goal that I set for myself so long ago and my dad was proud of me for achieving it."

In fact, the dream to appear in the magazine is one that Culpo's had for years.

"I still have the vision board I made about five years ago where my goal was just to be included in the magazine so to now be on the cover is unfathomable," she says. "It is the definition of a dream come true for me."

The dream was made even sweeter by getting to do it alongside Sanders and Bock.

"I really think back to the day we were shooting and how great it was to be with two kind, inspiring and hard-working women. We had so much fun together and I really love Kate and Jasmine so much," she says. "They are true 'girls-girls' -- supportive, kind and honest. Those are the type of friends you want to have in life and it is amazing to be sharing such an important moment with them."

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@oliviaculpo had a powerful start to her journey with SI Swim, one that included WOMAN written across her chest in black paint. Unlike most of our rookie shoots, Culpo’s first SI Swimsuit experience took place not on a beach but in a photo studio in Brooklyn for the “In Her Own Words” feature in 2018. The narrative of IHOW was dictated by the nine women who participated in the project, as they chose a variety of words that spoke to their journeys as women. After making waves with the impactful words painted on her body, she joined us in Australia in 2019 and Bali for the 2020 issue.  Olivia has built an influential platform and garnered millions of followers on Instagram, a space that she has used as a launching pad for many successful projects. Most recently, in response to COVID-19, Culpo created MoreThanAMask. The company is a line of fashion face coverings, and 100% of the proceeds go to Feeding America. Culpo’s résumé is endless. She is an advocate, fashion designer, actress, entrepreneur—and now an SI Swimsuit cover model. “Olivia Culpo is one of the hardest working people in the industry. I have never seen her give anything less than 200% toward whatever goal she sets for herself. Her accomplishments speak to that and are vast and impressive,” Day says. “It gives me great joy to celebrate such an exemplary professional and hardworking individual whose unapologetic enthusiasm will shine from the cover of our magazine. We are excited to have Olivia represent our brand in a way that celebrates the multifaceted women who pursue their dreams and fill the pages of our issue.” #SISwim2020 is on newsstands and online Tuesday, July 21st! Head to the link in bio for more. @yutsai88 @tracymurphymua @jrugg8 @sooribali @cathaypacific #sooribali #cathaypacific

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Fresh off of her Rookie of the Year win last year, Sanders continues to make a splash this time around.

"Jasmine is never about Jasmine. Jasmine is about the people who surround her, and her innate desire to go out of her way to make the people who love and support her know that feeling is mutual," Day says. "Evident from the fact she has amassed millions of fans across social media and champions for the Black, Brown and marginalized communities, using her voice in the most powerful way possible in times and places where it matters most, Jasmine is a true phenomenon."

Sanders admits that the honor hasn't "sunk in fully" and it still feels "very surreal" to her. One thing she knows for sure, though, is that she's thrilled with the ever-increasing diversity throughout the issue.

"I believe the industry has started the process of being more inclusive and following the lead of publications like Sports Illustrated Swim that have a space for all types of women," she says, before pointing to the inclusion of Valentina Sampaio, the outlet's first transgender model, in this year's issue as evidence to its increasing diversity. 

"SI includes such diverse women and to now have Valentina as a rookie really paves the way to show that everyone deserves an equal chance to express their individuality," Sanders says.

Sanders adds that she chooses to speak out on social justice and other issues because life is too short not to.

"I really try to convey to people to have a carefree life, meaning not to take yourself too seriously. I try to encourage self-care and self-love in ways of working out, working hard, but also in having a great time with friends and family," she says. "Life is too short for you to not speak up for what you believe in and stay true to yourself."

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@goldenbarbie is no stranger to the world of modeling, having started her career at the age of 13. Jasmine Sanders made a splash last year in her first appearance in SI Swim, winning Rookie of the Year for her shoot in Costa Rica. She’s continued to make an impact as part of the SI Swimsuit family, from speaking on panels at our launch events to spending hours interviewing, connecting and inspiring Swim Search hopefuls.  If you’re one of the 3.9 million people who follow Jasmine on social media, you’ll see her steadfast commitment to fighting for social justice. She uses her platform to provide resources on actions that can be taken—how to donate, sign petitions and more—to educate her fans, all the while sharing her experience as a Black woman in America. “Jasmine is never about Jasmine. Jasmine is about the people who surround her, and her innate desire to go out of her way to make the people who love and support her know that feeling is mutual,” says Day. “Evident from the fact she has amassed millions of fans across social media and champions for the Black, Brown and marginalized communities, using her voice in the most powerful way possible in times and places where it matters most, Jasmine is a true phenomenon.” #SISwim2020 is on newsstands and online Tuesday, July 21st! Head to the link in bio for more. @yutsai88 @tracymurphymua @jrug8 @sooribali @cathaypacific #sooribali #cathaypacific

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As for Bock, who's making her eighth consecutive appearance in the magazine, Day praises her for being "one of the best brand ambassadors and idea collaborators we’ve worked with."

"On top of her extensive work as an advocate for mental health and wellness, she has played a pivotal role as a creative and business savvy collaborator for SI Swimsuit," Day adds.

"It doesn’t even feel real yet!" Bock admits of covering the issue. "I can’t believe it. It’s an absolute dream come true. I’m still in shock!"

Despite her near-decade of experience working with the outlet, Bock says that this year was special thanks to her co-cover girls.

"I loved the experience of shooting in a group. That’s not something I’d ever done with SI Swimsuit and it was really special getting to share that moment with girlfriends that I love," she says. "I love that we are all so different and respect and love each other for our individuality."

Bock's success with Sports Illustrated continues to keep her passionate about both the magazine and her career as a whole.

"I am so passionate about this brand and fully believe that being passionate about the company you work with is so important for its success," she says. "No other job or opportunity gives me goosebumps the way SI does every year that I’m confirmed to shoot. They’ve taken me on the most unbelievable adventures, introduced me to new cultures and given me a voice, a name and a platform I wouldn’t have without them."

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Nine years ago, @katebock was driving through her hometown, Vancouver, when she got the news she had been booked to appear in SI Swim. She remembers pulling over to take in the surreal moment with her sister and cousin, screaming with joy. Little did she know she’d go on to spend almost a decade shooting in the world’s most beautiful destinations, winning 2013 Swimsuit Rookie of the Year, and now appearing on not one but two covers. Kate has been a health and wellness guru long before it was trendy. Born with a mind for branding, she has been a true asset to SI Swimsuit and its evolution toward building a franchise beyond just the magazine pages. We often refer to our models as family because we cherish, care and support them as if they were our own. We also encourage them to be a part of the brand’s business with a constant flow of ideas between us and them. It wouldn’t come as a shock to find Kate Bock in one of our boardrooms helping us brainstorm. “Kate is one of the best brand ambassadors and idea collaborators we’ve worked with,” says Day. “On top of her extensive work as an advocate for mental health and wellness, she has played a pivotal role as a creative and business savvy collaborator for SI Swimsuit.”   #SISwim2020 is on newsstands and online Tuesday, July 21st! Head to the link in bio for more. @yutsai88 @tracymurphymua @jrugg8 @sooribali @cathaypacific #sooribali #cathaypacific

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Watch the video below for more on Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue. 

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