In celebration of winning the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon 40 years ago, Caitlyn Jenner graces the cover of Sports Illustrated.

In an in-depth interview and an SI Films documentary, Jenner: 40 Years After Gold, the former athlete turned activist revisits her journey to winning gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games with stops at the University of Oregon, where she qualified for the Games in 1972, and San Jose City College where she trained.

Jenner also gave SI a glance at her current life at her home in Malibu.

She opened up to reporter Tim Layden about her experience at the Games. “For those two days in July of 1976, I was the best in the world at what I did,” Jenner said. “On the other hand, the decathlon was my best friend, and that was over. I lost my beard.”

In front of a mirror in a Montreal hotel, Jenner saw an image that “disgusted” her. “I was big and thick and masculine. The rest of the world thought it was this Greek god kind of body. I hated it. But it’s what I was given, so I just tried to do the best I could with it.”

But Jenner still embraces her past. “I loved Bruce,” she said. “I still love him today… But this woman was living inside me, all my life, and it reached the point where I had to let her live and put Bruce inside. And I am happier, these last 12 months, than I’ve ever been in my life.”

Jenner also believes that her work now is much more significant that her victory four decades ago. “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.”

In the documentary film, which runs about 22 minutes, we see Jenner take out her gold medal as a member of her glam squad runs her fingers through her curled hair.

“You know it’s funny, I never take this thing out,” Jenner said and admits her kids took it for show-and-tell.

For Jenner, the Games, were a place of shelter. “The decathlon for me was kind of the ultimate in what people think of as manhood,” she said. “So, for me it was a good place to hide.”

It seems she even used the Olympics to hide from her own internal struggle. “I had a need to prove myself that maybe that woman that’s living inside of me really isn’t living there,” she said.

Honoring her authentic self, appears to have given Jenner great joy.

“I right now, for the first time in my life, really like myself and that took a long, long, long time for me to say.”

To read Jenner’s full interview and see the film, click here.