When Brenna Huckaby posed for the 2018 SI Swimsuit Issue, the pro snowboarder admitted she was “excited” to get out of her comfort zone with the feature. While the three-time Paralympic gold medalist was used to competing in snow gear on the slopes, she swapped her typical uniform for a number of bold swimwear looks during her photoshoot in Aruba.
The feature was not only a major moment for the then 21-year-old, it was a huge milestone for the brand, as well, as Huckaby was the first Paralympian to be featured in the annual magazine.
Huckaby first discovered her love of her sport as a form of rehabilitation after a childhood illness. She had her right leg amputated above the knee at 14 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Up until that point, she was an avid gymnast, but quickly fell in love with snowboarding.
“It’s so exciting and crazy and amazing,” the keynote speaker and disability advocate noted of her SI Swimsuit Issue feature. “I am the first Paralympian to be shot for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, and that is insane to me. I knew this day would come, but I didn’t think that I would be the one to make this day happen.”
While Huckaby noted that she had “never put on a thong swimsuit” in her entire life, she called the looks she wore on location “gorgeous and sexy” and quickly found her comfort zone on set. Below are a few of our favorite snapshots from her incredible feature, captured by James Macari.