Whatever the model is doing is obviously working as she appeared at the NBC studios today looking more like a very fit woman of 30 rather than her real age. She wore a figure-hugging cleavage revealing blue dress as she arrived and later changed into a white version of the dress as she posed for some publicity photos.
Christie was on the show to talk about her famous 3 consecutive Sports Illustrated covers from the years 1979-81. This was the first time any model has appeared on 3 consecutive covers for the magazine. Christie went on to appear in other issues of the magazine as well as being exclusively featured in the first ever Sports Illustrated in 1983.
The first edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue came out in January 1964 with Babette March the magazine’s first cover girl. At that time it was just a 5 page issue with the intention of keeping the magazine’s circulation going during the quiet time between major sports seasons. This first issue featured models in bikinis at a time when this item of swimwear was seldom seen. In fact the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is often credited with bringing the bikini to a much wider audience.
It immediately grabbed the interest of the US public and by 1997 it was the best-selling magazine in America.
The biggest selling edition of the magazine so far has been the 1989 25th Anniversary Edition, which featured model Kathy Ireland. Incidentally it is Kathy Ireland who currently holds the record for the most consecutive appearances (12).
Over the years the magazine has featured an incredible array of women including Elle Macpherson, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Rachel Hunter, Cheryl Tiegs, Kate Upton and of course Christie Brinkley.
In addition to models the magazine has also featured a number of prominent sportswomen including Serena Williams and her sister Venus, Steffi Graf, Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, Leryn Franco, Lindsey Vonn and Danica Patrick.
Speaking to Today Show host Matt Lauer, Christie revealed that her first appearance in the magazine wearing a little pink thong was seen as ‘quite racy’ by many of her friends and colleagues.
She explained that when the magazine was first issued she was working in Paris and got many calls from friends who said to her “Oh my gosh, everybody’s talking about you! You’re in a magazine practically naked.’
Here are a few of the more famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers from the first 50 years. A special coffee table style book called Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful is available from today.