“Get to know the women behind the medals”
So here we are… our 500th issue of Stylist, and what a half-millennium of magazines it has been. Ever since our 100th issue, it has become tradition to celebrate each ‘centenary’ by asking a different group of people to take over Stylist. Issue 100 was made by readers, 200 by celebrities, 300 by MPs and 400 by robots.
So this time, to mark the year of the Tokyo Games, we asked Olympians and Paralympians, past and present, to create their very own version of Stylist. One of my favourite things about this issue is getting inside the minds of some of the most dedicated and motivated people in the world, finding out more about the women behind the medals; from Dame Kelly Holmes’ penchant for afternoon tea and Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s love of Lizzo to Heather Fisher’s moving account of how rugby helped her overcome a crisis of confidence.
This also seemed like the right time to bring back the Fair Game campaign: our initiative to even the playing field when it comes to gender equality in sport. Find out more on page 56.
Never has it been more important to celebrate our positive female role models, and the 26 women you’re about to hear from really are the best in the business. We hope you enjoy this very special issue!
MEET OUR NEW (VERY SPORTY) TEAM
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, heptathlete
This week’s cover was shot at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, London, with in-demand athlete KJT. Read about her strongest moment.
Dame Kelly Holmes, former track athlete
For a taste of Japan without boarding a plane, Dame Kelly Holmes channels her inner food critic and reviews a Japanese afternoon tea at Akira in west London.
Caroline Dubois, boxer
The lightweight Youth Olympic boxing champion and huge music fan reveals her ultimate playlist, from Beyoncé to Jason Derulo. Find the soundtrack to your next workout in this week’s magazine.
Sky Brown, skateboarder
What exactly does an 11-year-old skateboarding phenomenon do all day? Spend 24 hours with Sky, who’s set to become Britain’s youngest ever Olympian.
Ellie Simmonds, swimmer
Who better than self-confessed globetrotter and ocean-lover Ellie to head to Madagascar to swim with turtles? She writes about her life-changing experience.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, former wheelchair racer
This week’s guest columnist, and 11 Paralympic gold medal winner, Tanni writes about why it’s so important that we talk to girls about sport in the same way as boys.
Zoe Smith, weightlifter
With four British records under her belt at the age of 25, weightlifter Zoe is an authority on strength – both physical and mental. She dissects her strongest moment.
Rachel Yankey, former footballer
England’s most capped football player, who represented Team GB at London 2012, reveals how teamwork can help you through trauma.
Kare Adenegan, wheelchair racer
Kare balances winning Paralympic medals with studying history and philosophy at university, so she’s well placed to tell Stylist how to cope with pressure.
Caz Walton, former wheelchair athlete
She’s won medals in not one but four different Paralympic sports, so it’s fair to say Caz has some wise words to share on picking yourself up when times are hard.
Sally Gunnell, former hurdler
The only woman to hold Olympic, Commonwealth, World and European titles at the same time, Sally has plenty of advice on getting to the top.
Rebecca Adlington, former swimmer
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Rebecca’s mum promised her shoe- obsessed daughter Jimmy Choos if she won gold. So, who better to choose 29 pairs for our Style List?
Dina Asher-Smith, sprinter
It’s not every day that you become an actual Barbie. Britain’s fastest woman – and the world 200m champion – talks about the process of becoming the iconic doll to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Bianca Walkden, taekwondo competitor
When she’s not practising martial arts, the Olympic bronze medallist can often be found working at the family pizzeria in Liverpool. She shares her tips for the perfect Italian feast.
Dame Sarah Storey, cyclist
Want to achieve the perfect work-life balance? The most successful female British Paralympian of all time, who runs a cycling team and is a mother of two, offers her advice.
Hannah Mills, sailor
As the founder of the Big Plastic Pledge – an initiative tackling single-use plastic in sport – Hannah is well qualified for this role. She celebrates Tokyo 2020’s eco credentials.
Morgan Lake, high jumper
Studying for a psychology degree around her training, Morgan doesn’t have much time for shopping, but she’s perfectly placed to pick the ultimate trainers for Most Desired.
Shauna Coxsey, sport climber
With climbing making its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, see the World Cup winner model this season’s maximal dresses at The Climbing Works in Sheffield.
Becky & Ellie Downie, artistic gymnast
Make-up is important for establishing your identity as a gymnast, and Becky’s signature look is a cat-eye flick. So who better to take on the role of beauty editor with her sister Ellie.
Hannah Cockroft, wheelchair racer
Prepare to be inspired by Hannah’s words on overcoming: as a child, doctors said she wouldn’t walk or talk; now ‘Hurricane Hannah’ holds five racing world records.
Denise Lewis, heptathlete
Gold medal-winner Denise reveals how she nearly gave up at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics then turned it around to win bronze.
Heather Fisher, rugby player
From battling anorexia to losing her hair through alopecia, Heather has learnt how to build resilience both on and off the pitch. She tells her story.
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, former heptathlete
The hero of London 2012’s legendary Super Saturday emphasises the importance of our Fair Game for women in sport campaign.
Lauren Steadman, paratriathlete
Lauren regularly updates her 82,000 Instagram followers on her latest reads, so she was our first choice for this role. Check for your book club inspiration.
Kadeena Cox, sprinter and cyclist
When we approached the star of The Great Celebrity Bake Off, her only request was that her celebratory cake had to be decorated with “lots and lots of buttercream”.