Olivia Dunne Speaks Candidly on Equal Opportunities For Men, Women in NCAA Sports

LSU’s star gymnast is featured in ‘People’ magazine’s Women Changing the World issue.
Olivia Dunne

Olivia Dunne.

Olivia Dunne may be the highest-paid female college athlete today, but the social media influencer is also an advocate for equality.

The 20-year-old athlete, who is a junior on the LSU gymnastics team, is featured in People’s new Women Changing the World issue. Dunne spoke to the publication about how the NCAA’s name, image and likeness (NIL) rules, which went into effect in July 2021, changed her career for the better.

Dunne, who makes seven figures and has 7.2 million followers on TikTok, shared that she hopes to inspire other women to build a personal brand—whether they’re athletes or not.

“Opportunities for men and women in NCAA sports should be equal. But a lot of the NIL collectives only go to men’s athletics,” she stated. “I want to show you can do whatever you love—whether it’s gymnastics or music or painting—and capitalize on it and create your own business.”

Since NIL opportunities are still fairly new for college athletes, Dunne also added that she hopes to be a role model to younger generations when it comes to building a brand while juggling multiple priorities at once.

“There was no roadmap of how to do school, your athletics and social media all at the same time... And I figured I could change that,” she said. “I could pave the way and be a good example to young girls that look up to me.”

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.