Gold is traditionally reserved for 50th-anniversary occasions, but on the new issue of Sports Illustrated, Caitlyn Jenner has deservedly jumped the gun.

Jenner, who won the gold medal as Bruce for the decathlon event at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, appears on SI's July 14 issue 40 years after her first cover feature on the magazine. While she's still proud of the achievement, she notes in an interview she's since learned that athletic spectacles — while good for discipline and short-term fulfillment — aren't so important in the grand scheme of things.

"Sports. It’s not real life,” Jenner says. “You go out there, you work hard, you train your ass off, win the Games. I’m very proud of that part of my life. And it’s not like I just want to throw it out. It’s part of who I am. What I’m dealing with now, this is about who you are as a human being. What did I do for the world in 1976, besides maybe getting a few people to exercise a little bit? I didn’t make a difference in the world."

Jenner, who now keeps the piece of history in her nail drawer, admits its best use over the years has been as a show-and-tell presentation for her children to use. Now, it represents something new — proof that young transgender people can achieve anything, and should strive to see their goals realized.

"It’s a picture that brings attention to this issue,” she shares. “That’s the important thing. That’s why I wore the medal."

Read the full feature here, which includes testimony from some of Jenner's fellow former athletes, and share your thoughts on the interview in the comments.

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