Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year says immersing herself in Thailand’s combat sport is the secret behind her swimsuit-ready shape.
“By throwing myself into this sport,” I learned to love my body and respect my body,” explained Mia Kang to PEOPLE Magazine. “I learned how to nourish it and to treat it with respect.”
According to Kang, she started practicing Muay Thai four years ago and has even embarked on a nine-month trip living in a Thai boxing camp in Thailand with professional fighters.
“I got a lot bigger, I gained muscle, I have definition, I have abs,” she said. “I can do things with my body that I never thought I could do in terms of athleticism and fitness. As I developed and progressed in the sport, everything that has happened to my body, I’ve embraced it and welcomed it. The self-love and appreciation that I learned from Muay Thai coupled with booking Sports Illustrated gave me confidence.”
That could also explain why this trained fighter, expert in financial law and model isn’t easily impressed.
“I think I’m quite a tough cookie,” Kang told Fox News after she previously won Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue’s 2016 Model Search. “I think the most important quality in a man for me is intelligence… and second would definitely have to be sense of humor. I never want a day to be boring. I want to laugh every day. So prepare some jokes, and we’ll see if I’m impressed.”