8 Marvelous Photos of Former Sportsperson of the Year Megan Rapinoe in St. Lucia

Megan Rapinoe.<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>
Megan Rapinoe.

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

Megan Rapinoe is a force of nature, and 2019 was her year. The professional soccer player made her historic SI Swimsuit debut as the first openly gay model, was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year and led the U.S. women’s national soccer team to its second consecutive World Cup championship.

“I think it’s really quite a bold statement by Sports Illustrated to be honest because it has been seen as sort of this magazine only for heterosexual males,” the 37-year-old said at the time of her photo shoot in St. Lucia. “I think so often with gay females in sports there’s this particular stereotype about it and there’s such a narrow view of what it means to be gay and be athletic. So, to kind of just blow that up and and do something totally different I think is really important.”

Rapinoe is engaged to retired WNBA star Sue Bird, and the two own a production company, A Touch More, together. The Olympic gold medalist recently signed on for her 11th season with No. 2-ranked NWSL team OL Reign.

Below are eight of our favorite images from her 2019 photo shoot with Ben Watts.

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

<p>Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated</p>

Ben Watts/Sports Illustrated

Get ready for the hottest event of the year! The 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue release is just around the corner, and you won’t want to miss the Swimsuit Issue Launch Party. Secure your tickets now and join us for an unforgettable weekend of glamour, beauty and fun.

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