Get to know this one of a kind athlete!

By Xandria James
May 09, 2019

Welcome to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit family, Crystal Dunn! This United States Women's National Team powerhouse lights up the room wherever she goes. From St. Lucia to the soccer field, her energy is contagious. Even after narrowly missing a spot on the USWNT’s 2015 World Cup roster, Crystal has managed to find positivity in every day. We caught up with Crystal to find out how this perspective helped her secure a spot on this year’s World Cup roster, how posing for SI Swimsuit made her feel like royalty, and more!

On her favorite moment during her photoshoot: There was this gold one-piece swimsuit that really stood out to me. I think it’s also because they did my hair up differently and I kind of was joking with the guys, I was saying ‘oh I feel like a queen, like I feel like an Egyptian queen or something.’ It was just the way the sun was hitting the gold bathing suit…I think that's the one I had the most fun with.

On representing the USWNT in SI Swimsuit with her teammates: I think it’s amazing. When I look at our team or when I look at society in general I think there’s so many different shapes and sizes of people…And I think that’s basically what our team is made up of—so many people from so many different walks of life.

On her commitment to stating positive: There was a period of time where I used to over stress... and I think I kind of left that in the past. Now I kind of just look at life like ‘Things are going to happen. You’re going to have a crappy day, you’re going to have a crappy game maybe, but you can’t dwell on difficult moments.’ I think I’ve just learned to just [say] ‘Oh yeah, that was a crappy day. What can I take away from that day and how can I make tomorrow better?’ That’s just kind of like my mantra. It’s not easy. I’m not saying I’m like this happy guru that just walks around smiling and things like that, but I’ve learned to spend limited time in the negative points in my life.

On not getting discouraged during the team’s fight for equality: I think if I woke up one day and said ‘I’m not treated the same as the men, I’m quitting’ that is ultimately probably the worst thing that you could do. What you can do is stay in this game and show the young ones who dream to be in this position that it’s hard work, but ultimately you have to fight for what you believe in and you have to stay with it and you can’t give up just because things are making you feel like you don’t belong in this sport. The longer we actually stay in this sport and push it further and further is going to prove that our future is so much brighter now because we’ve paved the way for them.

On being a woman of color in soccer: We are the ones that I feel like have to even over achieve to prove that we belong and I think that’s something that I hold with me in my heart every single day that I wake up. I need to really set the pace for those coming behind me so that they realize ‘you are good enough.’ You shouldn’t feel like you have to do above and beyond stuff just to stay with the pack... [Diversity in soccer] is getting better, but it's not exactly where I think it can be in years to come. But it's getting better, and I think that is all we can hope for right now. We're moving in the right direction.

See all of Crystal's SI Swimsuit 2019 photos!

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