The Best of the Swimsuit Super Models Author:Sports Illustrated In 32 years, under six managing editors, 19 photographers have shot thousands of photographs of dozens of models on six different continents. The sheer volume and quality of imagery have made it virtually impossible to arrive at a consensus of the top 90 photos. — But if we can't please all of the people all of the time, what we can say confiden... more »tly about our selection is that it represents our best efforts and intentions. This collection evokes cherished memories and vividly reflects the spirits of the SI Swimsuit Issue.
The nine models we chose to represent the legions were picked not only for their obvious physical beauty, but also because each of them is indelibly identified with Sports Illustrated. Each has contributed enormously to the success of the Swimsuit Issue and each has become a household name, in no small measure, because of the magazine.
In this light, it is especially fitting that the cover should feature Kathy Ireland, who has appeared in a record 13 Swimsuit Issues. She has graced three covers and has consistently received more fan mail than any other model. If there were a mythical title honoring The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Girl, surely it would have to be bestowed on Kathy.