Bruce Jenner triumphantly posed for the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated with the 1976 Olympics decathlon gold medal, telling the magazine that the “macho male” physique he sported at those summer games in Montreal was the only way “to convince myself that the woman living inside of me really [wasn’t] living inside me.”
Jenner, who now goes by Caitlyn, opened up about being “disgusted” with the body that won Olympic gold 40 years ago this July.
“For those two days in July of 1976, I was the best in the world at what I did,” Jenner told Sports Illustrated. “On the other hand, the decathlon was my best friend, and that was over. I lost my beard.”
The magazine says Jenner doesn’t publicly display the gold medal.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 28, 2016
Standing in front of a hotel mirror in Montreal, Jenner remembered feeling “disgusted” by the reflection glaring back.
“I was big and thick and masculine. The rest of the world thought it was this Greek god kind of body,” said Jenner. “I hated it. But it’s what I was given, so I just tried to do the best I could with it.”
“Being a macho male was a way for me to try to convince myself that the woman living inside of me really [wasn’t] living inside me,” the reality TV star added.
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 28, 2016
The I Am Cait star said the decision to transition came in 1989, but ultimately decided that the timing wasn’t right.
“It wasn’t time in my life, and it wasn’t time in society,” Jenner said. “The issue was totally misunderstood.”
Jenner told the magazine that what was accomplished four decades ago is something to be proud of, but transitioning is about “who you are as a human being.”
“Sports. It’s not real life. You go out there, you work hard, you train your ass off, win the Games,” the 66-year-old gold medalist said. “I’m very proud of that part of my life. And it’s not like I just want to throw it out. It’s part of who I am. What I’m dealing with now, this is about who you are as a human being. What did I do for the world in 1976, besides maybe getting a few people to exercise a little bit? I didn’t make a difference in the world.”
Jenner said publicly transitioning and finally putting “Bruce inside,” was the best decision he could have made.
“I loved Bruce,” Jenner said. “I still love him today. I like what he did and the way he set an example for hard work and dedication. I’m proud of that part of my life. But this woman was living inside me, all my life, and it reached the point where I had to let her live and put Bruce inside.”