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SI Swim Search: Katie Austin

Name: Katie Austin
Occupation: Fitness Personality, Entrepreneur, App Creator, Host of “Austin AF” on YouTube
Hometown: Alexandria, Va. (currently living in Los Angeles)

What inspired you to try out for SI Swim Search?
This was my second time making a video for Swim Search, but I truly believed in myself this time. I was so inspired by all the Swim Search auditions in the past, especially Camille Kostek. I feel like I represent the normal, athletic girl all over the world. I wanted to show the sporty girls that strong IS sexy.

What would it mean to you to win Swim Search?
It would be a literal dream come true for me -- I wouldn't ever be able to put it into words. Already being in the finalists group is life-changing, but I hope that I am able to inspire girls all over the world to go after whatever dreams or goals they have. You can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

What has been the best part about being a part of the Swim Search community?
The best part is definitely the other women. It's really amazing to be a part of a group of incredible women who empower each other, send each other motivational messages, and seek togetherness over competition. I feel like I just got a whole new group of friends to go through this crazy experience with!

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What is your favorite SI Swimsuit memory?

Alex Morgan in 2019 was one of my most favorite recent covers. For me, I loved seeing female athletes and women of different body types featured in the magazine. As an athlete my entire life, I looked up to them so much and still do today. SI Swim is body inclusive and encourages body positivity. This has changed my outlook on how females can and should be portrayed in the media.

Who is your role model?

Most definitely my mama, Denise Austin. I am lucky that she is not only my mom and someone I look to every day for advice and guidance but also a role model for so many women worldwide. She has taught me always to be authentic, true to who I am, and most importantly, believe in myself.

What would you tell your younger self?

Like most teenagers, I struggled with self-love. Today, I'd love to tell the younger Katie just how awesome she is and that I can do anything or be anything I want. Confidence comes from within. Do not try and fit into anyone else's body standards. There is only one you, and you should be proud of exactly who you are.

How are you preparing for the SI Swim Search photo shoot?

I don't think I have ever been more excited for a photo shoot before and have started preparing by manifesting how well the shoot will go. My main prep will really be with myself, practicing that self-love and self-care. I want to focus on staying positive and confident, and I don't plan to change my workouts or eating habits. I love my body as it is today, and every day, there is no need to change a thing. That being said, I will definitely be getting my nails done for the first time in 11 years…literally!

Who was the first person you told the good news to?

My mom. She cried, and so did my dad. He teared up a little, too. It was the cutest thing ever! My parents have watched my journey to get here and have been so supportive; it's so nice to celebrate this milestone in my life and career with them.