Fans of bikini-clad babes have a new reason to pick up Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue this year-- a Central New York native is making her debut!

Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is a fitness and wellness coach who graduated from Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Not only is she a rookie to SI's Swimsuit Issue, but she's doing it at age 40, making her one of the "oldest" rookies to be featured.

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated

After high school, Wood-Tepperberg relocated to New York City, working various jobs before becoming a successful model and actress. In 2016 she married Noah Tepperberg, co-CEO of Tao Group, a premium nightclub and hospitality company. 

Today, Wood-Tepperberg runs her own health and wellness company called Melissa Wood Health. She first gained a following posting workout videos on Instagram, and now has over 1 million followers.

Wood-Tepperberg said it was always her dream to become a model, even during her younger Central New York days. Growing up she had several odd jobs in the area, including at an auto supply company and at Destiny USA (known as Carousel Center back then).

After turning 40 in December 2022, she told Sports Illustrated that she now feels more at ease in her skin than she did when she was younger.

I think the Melissa in her 20s looked at 40 [like] ... if you don’t reach things by the age of 40, that was it. That was the old mentality that I had, and now I’m just scratching the surface. Like things get better; you become more yourself at this age. So I feel really good about it.

You can catch Melissa Wood-Tepperberg between the pages of Sports Illustrated's 2023 Swimsuit Issue when it hits the shelves in May.

Can't wait? You can get a sneak peak here.

Most Controversial Celebrity Magazine Covers Ever

Below, discover the most controversial celebrity magazine covers to ever hit the newsstands.

Plenty of Babes and Bikinis At the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

KLAQ had a man on the ground at Sturgis who sent us daily photo updates and it looks like the pandemic hasn't stopped many the people from partying.

Check out the photos below and imagine you're right there in the middle of all the action.

Well, maybe not the spitting contest, unless you're into that sort of thing.

12 Stories Behind the People on Iconic Rock + Metal Album Covers

More From 96.9 WOUR