You know her. You love her. Our next SI Swimsuit 2017 rookie is the great Mia Kang!
As you may know, Mia, the winner of our 2016 SI Swimsuit Model Search contest, grew up in Hong Kong, but considers herself to be a citizen of the world. Her mother is South Korean, while her father is British, giving our newest rookie a unique look and unparalleled beauty.
Can't get enough of Mia? Meet her at the VIBES by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit festival in Houston! The two-day event at Post HTX kicks off on Feb. 17 with a food festival featuring favorites from top national and regional chefs along with a performance by R&B sensation Miguel. The fun continues on Saturday with a lineup of local Houston musicians and a headlining performance by Grammy Award-winning producer and DJ Diplo. BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!
As for Mia, here are five things you might not know about our hottie from Hong Kong:
1. If she wasn't a model, Mia would pursue a full-time career as a professional fighter. Between modeling gigs, Mia spends her time training in Thai boxing — she even moved in with a house of fighters for six months, after telling her agent she was just going on a 10-day vacation in Thailand.
2. Her obsession with Pokemon is out of control. "Pokemon is my sh--," she told SI. "I not only still do it, but I thrive. I like to think that I'm up there in the world of Pokemon trainers."
3. She's not afraid to share her struggles. Before she was a model, Mia struggled with anxiety, bulimia, anorexia and depression. Now she hopes to encourage her fans around the world by sharing her story and showing how a healthy lifestyle can transform you from the inside out.
Since I started training like an athlete my body has changed. I am now a size 4, I have muscles, I have fitness, I can do things I never thought I could do with my body, I overcame obesity, anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety and so much more. I want to say thank you to the clients that see beauty in me and continue to book me regardless. I've been a size 14 and I've been a size 0, but now I am finally happy, healthy and fit. I want to redefine beauty in the industry. I think we need a diversity of HEALTHY models represented in the media. I'm not model size and I'm not plus size, I can't be put into a box so people don't book me. I'm trying to make my own box. Let's be role models for generations to come so that these girls don't have to feel the pressures that we do. Sport made me strong and strong is the new sexy. Get with it or get out. #sizediversity #redefiningbeauty #strongwomen #strongnotskinny @worldswimsuit by the amazing @gavinbondphotography ❤️ xx
4. She's a badass wake surfer. Look, ma, no hands!
5. She has freakish strength (and even if there's some trick photography here, she could legit kick your butt).
BONUS: Experience a day in the life of Mia Kang!