North Carolina native featured in special Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition

North Carolina

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Chrissy Teigen, Kate Upton, and Beyoncé … Those are just some of the names that have been in the coveted Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

Now, Summer Wilson joins those ranks, calling it a dream come true. During the pandemic, Sports Illustrated posted a virtual, open casting call. Wilson was a finalist and, on Monday, she was among the models featured in the special issue.


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Wilson went to D.H. Conley High School and graduated from East Carolina University. 

She worked at Sup Dogs and then left the city to become a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader. 

She retired after five years. During the pandemic, she decided to dedicate more time to chasing her dream, landing her a feature in Sports Illustrated. 

Wilson says this wasn’t easy, especially at 31 while working a full-time corporate job. She wanted to share her journey and inspire others.  

“I’m sitting on my couch, about to hop onto a meeting for work, and then I know I’m in a magazine in the stands today. I just want people to know you can do, you really, really can. You just have to be persistent,” Wilson said.  

(Contributed photo)

The publication is also breaking barriers, featuring transgender model Leyna Bloom on the cover, a first for the magazine. 

You can vote for Summer Wilson to also be featured in the 2022 print edition at this link.

Learn more about Wilson’s journey: 

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