In an interview with Tim Layden for a Sports Illustrated cover story, Caitlyn Jenner discussed knowing who she was from an early age.
“Little Caitlyn has been in there since I was this big [hand is raised four feet off the floor],” Jenner said. “Sometimes she raised her cute little head more than others. I was female inside, but I wasn’t an effeminate male. So I could hide easily in the male world. My life was distraction after distraction after distraction. Being a macho male was a way for me to try to convince myself that the woman living inside of me really isn’t living inside me.”
Jenner went on to say that training for the decathlon from 1970 to 1976 did not help suppress the gender issues.
“They were always there. You just don’t deal with them. I put my energy into beating the event,” Jenner told SI.
Jenner won an Olympic gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Games. Jenner is one of only 22 Olympians to win gold in the decathlon.