Gigi Hadid Shows Her Competitive Side in Vogue with Olympic Decathlete Ashton Eaton

Think Gigi Hadid isn’t cut out for the Olympics? Well, think again.

She “trained like a professional athlete” in high school, and given her overnight success, that kind of work ethic is obvious today too.

Hadid, modeling on the August issue cover of Vogue alongside Olympic decathlete superstar Ashton Eaton, reveals in her cover story that her father Mohamed Hadid was actually an Olympic skier himself and that she’s incredibly competitive.

“She has natural ability,” Eaton says of Hadid when she tries her hand at the javelin. Robert Sullivan reports:

“My dad was an Olympic skier,” Hadid points out. She is beaming.
“Oooh,” Eaton says. Double take. “Downhill or mogul?”
“Downhill.”
“Ah, so does he have bad knees?”
“Horrible; that’s why he had to stop skiing. He went when he was, like, 43.” (Mohamed Hadid was one of the oldest skiers at Albertville, in France, in 1992.)
“Forty-three to the Olympics!” Eaton says. “Wow, that’s really fit.”

In addition to riding horses, Hadid played volleyball in high school and had the nickname “G.” Her coach and the indoor director of WestCoast Volleyball Club Aaron Wexler commented:

G was one of my favorite players. She wasn’t maybe as consistent as I wanted her to be, but, man, when she connected with the ball she was either going to score or hit the back wall. She played with fearlessness.

Probably my favorite thing about G was her humility. She was confident but she was humble, and even though she was good, she acted like, OK, this is good, but it’s not everything, and I think that’s what’s helped her in her career.

As for her competitive nature, Hadid tells Sullivan, “I mean, I trained like a professional athlete,” adding that she came to win and “that’s why I think I get along so well with athletes, although people cannot imagine me as a volleyball player. I’m just a lot more intense than you assume. I’m very competitive.”

That being said, Hadid’s career (and the media frenzy that follows her) keeps her busy enough. As Vogue notes, she is launching a capsule collection, Tommy X Gigi, with Tommy Hilfiger this fall and is currently the face of Donatella Versace’s collection.

“I pretty much just go day by day,” Hadid explains. “It keeps me a lot more focused and less stressed out. A calm mind-set—you know, refreshing your brain after every play.”

gigi hadid ashton eaton olympic decathlete vogue august cover 2016
CREDIT: Mario Testino/Vogue

Read Hadid and Eaton’s entire interview with Vogue here.

Check out the gallery above for more pics of the pair in the August issue, which is out on newsstands July 26, 2016.