NEW YORK, February 15. SHE'S no longer the skinny 14 year-old, clutching her teddy bear that we first met at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

No, Amanda Beard has come a long way, baby. She's all grown up now. An Olympic champion and world record-holder, she's also a very attractive young woman.

Amanda has a two-page layout in the annual Sports Illustrated "Swimsuit Issue," which will be on the newsstands today. Check her out.


The last female swimmer to appear in an SI, "Swimsuit Issue" was Dara Torres, more than a decade ago.

To the best of our knowledge, the only US male swimmer to receive similar sex symbol treatment was Sabir Muhammad, who was featured in a 2001 issue of Sports Illustrated for Women.