Olivia Ponton Spills the Tea on the Phone Call That Changed Everything for Her

The TikTok star and 2022 SI Swimsuit rookie points to one moment that started it all.
Olivia Ponton attends the Teen Vogue and Motorola Razr Next Generation event in New York City.

Olivia Ponton attends the Teen Vogue and Motorola Razr Next Generation event in New York City.

TikTok Influencer Olivia Ponton shared some fun facts about herself on Sept. 28 as she got ready for Motorola and Teen Vogue’s Generation Next program.

There’s always that one friend who is late to everything and Ponton admits she is that girl. Before beginning her makeup routine, she said she needed to text her friends that she was getting ready “because I’m always the late one in the group.”

Attending the Generation Next annual event—which supports the development of young designers—gave Ponton an opportunity to recall a moment that really set her up for growth.

“This reminds me of the call that started it all for me, which would definitely be this day,” she held up a photo of her 2022 SI Swimsuit shoot on her Motorola Razr phone. “I was on set [one] day and my publicist called me and she was like, ‘Hey can you go in the corner really quick?’ When the words came out of her mouth ‘Sports Illustrated wants you to be a rookie for 2022,’ I fell to the floor completely. I was down.”

Ponton added that this was something she had dreamed of since she was 12 years old. The Florida native couldn’t believe it was true, but her publicist was quick to shut down her imposter syndrome. Ponton snapped back to reality when she was told she only had two weeks to prepare.

“When I was in Montenegro, Sports Illustrated asked me to go skydiving for my activity of the day,” Ponton continued. “I went paragliding instead. Before anyone says anything, paragliding is very similar to skydiving—equally as terrifying.”

“God bless,” she added. “I’m so grateful.”

Ponton also shared that she water-skied for nine years and showed some photos of herself doing various tricks to the camera. She also noted that she aspires to be an interior designer some day.

“I was obsessed with HGTV growing up,” she said.

The 20-year-old has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that causes a lack of thyroid hormones, she told fans as one of her final facts.

Ponton ended the TikTok with a request for her followers: “Tag me in what your call was that started it all.”

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.