Olivia Dunne Has an Important Message for the Young Female Athletes Who Look Up to Her

The 2023 SI Swimsuit model and LSU gymnast is paving the way for women in college sports.

Olivia Dunne was photographed by Ben Watts in Puerto Rico. 

Olivia Dunne is full of inspirational messages. The 2023 SI Swimsuit model and LSU gymnast is a trailblazer in the college sports industry, and the 20-year-old is paving the way for future generations of female athletes.

Dunne first stepped on a gymnasium floor at the age of 3 and is now the highest-paid female college athlete in the country. The New Jersey native was interviewed by Hurrdat Sports in Omaha, while the the LSU baseball team played in a 2023 College World Series game against Wake Forest.

“You’re more than your sport,” Dunne said when asked what message she had for young female athletes. “That’s really important to remember.”

She also reflected on the moment she found out she was going to be photographed by Ben Watts in Puerto Rico for the 2023 SI Swimsuit issue.

“It was surreal. I got off the phone and I screamed immediately,” she recalled. “I called my mom. I was in disbelief.”

Dunne added that going into her final year as an LSU Tiger, she is looking forward to healing from her injuries and competing alongside her teammates, who have become like “sisters.”

“I hope it’s my best year yet,” she continued. “I hope to go out there and do what I love every single day.”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.