Name: Ally Courtnall
Hometown: Los Angeles
What inspired you to try out for SI Swim Search?
As a former college athlete being in Sports Illustrated was always the dream, and then when I got into modeling that desire to be in the magazine just grew. So when I saw that SI was opening up casting to everyone, I knew immediately I had to try. My dad always says the worst someone could say is no. So I kept trying every year hoping that my time would finally come.
What would it mean to you to win SI Swim Search?
EVERYTHING. To be a part of a brand that also has such a powerful message and community is the ultimate dream. To add my voice to this platform is everything I’ve ever dreamed of and more. I know my purpose is to help others, to inspire and to create positive change. Winning SI Swim Search and being a part of the SI Swimsuit family would allow me to do that and so much more. It gives me the chills just thinking about it.
What has been the best part about being a part of the SI Swim Search community?
The support and friendships. I’ve met so many incredible humans through this process. There’s so much love, kindness and genuine support you don’t always get to experience, especially when you all share a similar dream. I love the community over competition vibe, it's the best type of energy.
What is your favorite SI Swimsuit memory?
The 2014 issue with Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge is one of my all-time favorite covers. Chrissy is my ultimate girl crush! I am a fellow foodie so I would love to one day chef it up with her in the kitchen. I also loved Hannah, Gigi and Sara’s shoot on the Jersey Shore from that same issue. It looked so fun with the pier and boardwalk games. After seeing that issue I hoped one day I would get to do a shoot like that with SI.
Who is your role model?
My mom. She wears many hats. She’s a mom, a wife, a former dancer/actress and now an interior designer. She does it all! I’ve always looked up to how independent she is. She also has the biggest heart. She is one of the most beautiful people I know.
What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Believe in your own magic. And always make your mental health a priority.
How are you preparing for the SI Swim Search photo shoot?
I feel like I’ve been preparing for this mentally and physically since SI Swim Search first started. Whether that's swimwear photo shoots or looking at former SI Swimsuit issues for inspiration and guidance. Now that it’s here (still freaking out!) I’m going to be doing my favorite workout, Pilates, taking care of my mental health and doing my thing in the kitchen, cheffing up bomb meals that make me feel my best.
Who was the first person you told the good news to?
My parents and fiancé.