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Olivia Ponton Conquers Fear of Heights in Montenegro

The SI Swimsuit rookie had an unexpected day of testing her limits.

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Montenegro’s remarkable topography is one of the things that makes it such a great place to visit. The rugged mountain interior backs almost directly onto the sea, so in the space of 15 minutes you can travel from the Mediterranean-like coast into the high hills. Visitors have access to a wide variety of adventures including ziplining, rafting and hiking.

Olivia Ponton started her adventure day off going canyoneering, the sport of exploring canyons by climbing, rappelling or rafting. The Tara Canyon in Montenegro is one of the world’s best canyoneering destinations. When the SI Swimsuit rookie arrived to meet her extreme sports guide, Janko Scepanovic, he said, “It’s sketchy and slippery but she will survive.” Ponton gasped. You’ll have to watch here to see how Ponton handled the canyon.

Paragliding was next up on Ponton’s itinerary. Paragliding is a sport in which participants jump off a particularly high place (in this instance a mountain) while attached to a lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft resembling a canopied parachute. Typically paragliding is done in the mountains, flatlands or over water. Some of the most popular places to paraglide include Interlaken in Switzerland, Sedona Red Rocks in Arizona, and Budva, Montenegro.

Ponton exclaimed while in the air, “Thank you so much Sports Illustrated for giving me the motivation to do this because I would not do this, I think, for anyone else.” Upon landing on the shoreline of the beach, she said, “I’ve definitely never experienced anything like that before.”