Gayle King Left Speechless by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

Gayle King on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover (Credit: CBS Mornings)

Gayle King got the surprise of her life Tuesday morning, when she learned she made the cover of the 2024 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

The special 60th anniversary edition of the magazine has different covers featuring King and supermodels Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, and Hunter McGrady.

King, 69, had no clue she’d be on the front of SI until Upton and McGrady visited CBS Mornings on May 14, and handed the newscaster a copy of her cover.

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The segment began with King and co-hosts Tony Dokoupil and Nate Burleson interviewing Upton and McGrady about their experiences posing for the magazine.

Toward the end of the interview, Burleson said a third “cover star” was in the room. Upton then stood up and handed King a copy of her cover.

The news anchor reacted by screaming and saying, “I’m on the cover?”

“They told me I was just going to be on the inside,” King said. “Woo-hoo!”

King couldn’t believe it and asked if the cover was a mockup. “This is going to be on the newsstand? Oh my God!”

“I can’t speak! Let me just look at her,” she added.

McGrady told her, “It goes to say, sexy isn’t an age. Sexy isn’t a size. Look how beautiful you look. That’s so inspiring to women of all ages. Yes girl, you did that!”

“Wow!” King said and praised photographer Yu Tsai for guiding her through how to pose. She also revealed Sports Illustrated editor-in-chief MJ Day told her not to starve herself before the shoot, because readers want to see real versions of the models.

“I just never saw myself this way. I still don’t see myself this way,” said King. “But when I look at that, I go, I look damn good.”

The 60th anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue hits newsstands on May 15.

Watch the video below of Gayle King reacting to her cover.

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