‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ Introduces 2020 Model Search Winners Tanaye White & Kathy Jacobs

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has found its 2020 Rookies.

On Friday, the magazine introduced the winners of its 2020 Swim Search: models Tanaye White and Kathy Jacobs.

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The two models were found through an open casting call in July 2019 in Miami. Thousands of new and established models met with the SI Swimsuit team, who eventually narrowed their selections down to 16.

From that group, six finalists were chosen: Brielle Anyea, Clarissa Bowers, Christie Valdiserri, and Jamea Lynee, along with Jacobs and White.

The finalists were flown to Turks and Caicos in February for the issue’s big photoshoot, with White and Jacobs being named the winners.

Tanaye White. Photo: Yu Tsai/ Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
Tanaye White. Photo: Yu Tsai/ Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

White is a 28-year-old Georgetown University graduate. She left her job at a defence and aerospace agency to try out for the Swim Search in 2018 and has participated in the contest for the last two years.

“I’ve dreamed of what this moment would look like for years and I cannot believe it’s happening! My stomach is flipping nonstop. My life will be forever changed. I hope my testimony shows people that you can do anything you put your mind and heart towards,” White told People.

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Kathy Jacobs. Photo: Yu Tsai/ Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
Kathy Jacobs. Photo: Yu Tsai/ Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

Jacobs, meanwhile, is a 56-year-old model who is hoping her win “inspires others not to give up on themselves.”

She tells People, “If I can do it, you can, too! You are not too old. You are not too short. You are not too ‘whatever you think you are.’ When you fall down, put on your ‘big girl’ pants — or in my case a bikini — and try again. I am so excited for what the future holds and this is just the icing on the cake!”

The two models will each appear as a Rookie in the 2021 issue.

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