Fitness icon Denise Austin, 65, and daughter Katie model bikinis for SI Swimsuit runway show: ‘Proud mama’8 min read
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Denise Austin and her daughter Katie Austin made a major splash at the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show.
On Saturday, mother and daughter proudly rocked bikinis on the catwalk for the live broadcast show at the W South Beach pool in Miami Beach, Florida, during Miami Swim Week.
The fitness icon, 65, and model, 29, wore sand and bronze-hued string bikinis as they proudly flexed their beach-ready bods and shared warm embraces.
Austin, an ‘80s and ‘90s star known for her “8-minute abs” workout, has sold over 24 million exercise videos and DVDs over the years, as well as starred in the top fitness show for over 24 years.
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“It was the most incredible feeling in the world to walk the SI Swimsuit Runway Show with my daughter Katie,” Austin told Fox News Digital exclusively. “The pure joy we shared together will last a lifetime… I am truly a proud mama! It was such a great mother/daughter moment that was priceless. I just feel so grateful to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit family for inviting me to join Katie and be their first mother/daughter duo to walk the runway.”
“I just want women to feel confident in their bodies no matter their age,” Austin continued. “I hope to inspire women over 50 to live a healthier lifestyle. Live life to the fullest. You are worth it!”
Katie went on to follow in her mom’s footsteps, all while making her own mark.
“My mom is my inspiration for everything,” Katie told SI Swimsuit about the enthusiastic matriarch. “She’s my biggest supporter, mentor and best friend who highly encouraged me to do Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, so the fact I can walk with her in the show is a full circle moment.”
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Katie has become a fitness influencer on social media with her own app. She made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2021 as part of their annual Swim Search. She then returned for the 2022 issue as an official rookie. Katie previously told the outlet that she wore her mom’s vintage leotard while training to be an SI Swimsuit model.
“I love her ‘80s and ’90s style, but back then, everyone seemed kind of obsessed with being perfect on camera, you know?” she said. “That’s not right for me. I’m a lot more candid. So I’ll have a cocktail while making a video sometimes, and I get these texts from my mom saying, ‘Katie, stop drinking tequila on TikTok.’ And I’m like, ‘Sorry mom. I will never not drink on TikTok.’ She doesn’t get it.”
The pair weren’t the only ones to make the runway sizzle this weekend.
Shannon Burton, a finalist for this year’s Swim Search, has been praised for pursuing the competition at age 50. The wife and mom, who began modeling at age 35, told the outlet that she was inspired by Kathy Jacobs, who became the “oldest” rookie in the brand’s history at age 57.
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“She was amazing, gorgeous, fearless and worked hard to be her best self,” said Burton. “I have been a dream chaser since I was very young, and if I had a passion in my heart for something, I worked my tail off until I got it. This was no different. I started modeling at the late age of 35 when many modeling careers had already come to an end. So many rejections, doors closed, and no’s in my 15 years in the industry, but I refused to quit. When I saw that Swim Search was opening up for 2022-23, I promised to enter. I turned 50 in March and felt it was the perfect way to celebrate such a big milestone. So I went all in.”
Hunter McGrady, known as the magazine’s “curviest model,” appeared alongside her sister Michaela McGrady in matching ensembles.
“Every single year I’m so humbled to be included in such a huge publication,” the 29-year-old told Fox News Digital in 2020. “And every year they just outdo themselves. MJ Day, the editor, understands the need for diversity in media. She was really the one who made the decision many years back to include Ashley Graham on the cover and kick off this movement.”
“It was a wonderful move that really opened a lot of people’s eyes to see that we need to see different bodies,” she shared. “We need to see different races, different heights, different shapes, different varieties of people. I can say this year will be more diverse than ever and I’m really proud of it.”
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Camille Kostek, who’s “never not dancing,” twerked at one point to a cheering crowd. The former Patriots cheerleader debuted in the magazine in 2018 as part of their first open casting call. She became a co-winner that year alongside Haley Kalil. In 2019, she graced the cover with Tyra Banks and Alex Morgan.
“This is year five of being in the issue,” the 30-year-old told Fox News Digital earlier this month. “I am just as excited this year as I was the first year I got the call. This is a dream job that I have worked toward for 10-plus years. So living out this dream in my reality is something that always excites me.”
“I am a huge advocate for self-acceptance because it is something that I have struggled with growing up in the modeling industry, and it has helped me grow into accepting my body as it is,” Rob Gronkowski’s longtime love revealed. “I have always been drawn to SI Swimsuit because I knew they would accept me for all I am.”
Brooks Nader also received plenty of love from the audience when she made her way down the runway. The Louisiana native joined SI as part of the 2019 open casting call and went on to shoot her rookie spread in Bali for the 2020 issue. The star is known for making heads turn on the red carpet all thanks to her bold, daring looks.
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“I always hope I get that call again,” Nader told Fox News Digital in December 2021. “I would love to be in SI forever. It’s one of my favorite teams in the business to work [with]. The magazine is so close to my heart. It was always my dream to be in it, and I ended up with a family. Every year becomes my favorite shoot. So I would love to be back for sure.”
Nicole Williams English, who is one of SI Swimsuit’s 2023 rookies, made the surprise revelation that she was pregnant while walking down the runway. The 34-year-old, who is married to NFL player Larry English, rocked a skimpy black two-piece while happily cradling her growing baby bump. Kim Kardashian and her brother Rob were among those to quickly congratulate Williams on social media following the unveiling.
Christen Harper made the compelling case for the zebra print this season by modeling a gravity-defying halter string bikini that perfectly flaunted her sunkissed skin and sculpted features.
According to SI Swimsuit, Harper grew up in Southern California and began pursuing a modeling career at age 20 to help pay her way through college. The outlet described how she often received pushback from agents and clients to lose weight, but Harper chose to continue modeling without shrinking herself to fit into the standard sizing of the fashion world. She was the winner of the 2021 Swim Search and was introduced as a rookie this year. In June, the model revealed that Lions quarterback Jared Goff popped the question.
Jasmine Sanders was every bit the “lady in red” as she sported a festive bikini that enhanced her famous physique. The model, nicknamed “Golden Barbie,” made her SI Swimsuit debut in 2019 and earned the “Rookie of the Year” title that year.
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“… I definitely try to do faster cardio in the morning just to get it out of the way,” she told Fox News Digital in June 2021 about how she prepares for a swimsuit shoot. “And then if I can, I’ll do some type of activity outside, like jump rope. But I also focus a lot on my legs like squats, lunges, and mountain climbers. I also have a StairMaster. But if I’m not doing that, I go on a bike ride down the beach. I also like meeting up with friends to work out right before a shoot because I want to prepare myself mentally more than anything.”
And Ashley Byrd, a former construction worker from Louisiana, fulfilled her modeling goals by rocking several looks for the cameras.
“I’m an athlete, so I work out regularly,” she recently told Fox News Digital about how she trained for this year’s issue. “For me, it was about mental preparation. I wanted to be in a great mental space. I wanted to take it all in without overthinking again. So I did lots of praying and meditating before my shoot. SI is very inclusive, so you’re not expected to show up looking a certain way. You’re expected to show up looking like you. So I never had that moment of, ‘My shoot is coming up, I need to be at the gym all day, every day.’ At the end of the day, I wanted them to see who I am as a person. I wanted to be me.”
The 2022 issue, already in newsstands, features Kardashian, 41, as well as Ciara, Yumi Nu, and Elon Musk’s mother Maye Musk as this year’s cover girls.