September 13th, 2011
01:11 PM ET
When Anna Kournikova was announced as the newest trainer for NBC's "The Biggest Loser" back in May, some scoffed at the choice.
Although critics may have viewed the move as NBC's attempt to boost ratings by hiring a woman not known for helping people get healthy, Kournikova dismisses those who question her selection.
"I've always been criticized for being too beautiful, but I must have done something right," Kournikova said. "People have these preconceived notions about me, but I don't mind."
The 30-year-old will get a chance to silence her critics when "The Biggest Loser" begins its 12th season on September 20. Kournikova and fitness expert Dolvett Quince will join veteran trainer Bob Harper in guiding contestants through a journey of weight loss and healthy lifestyles.
Kournikova, who is also a certified trainer, says she will bring her years of knowledge from the tennis court to the "Biggest Loser" stage.
"When I was a competitive tennis player, I worked with the best nutritionists, coaches and sports psychologists. I was always being told what to do, but now I tell people what to do. It brought me back to the discipline and organization I had when I was a player, and you need that discipline to live a better, healthier life."
But don't expect Kournikova to be a strict disciplinarian on the show. She says the weight loss competition actually lets her be more than just a trainer.
"I felt like a parent to a number of children who wanted to lose weight and get healthy. It was challenging, and it was new to all of us, but everyone realized that it wasn't rocket science. It takes a lot of hard work, but they made it work."
For Kournikova, doing the show had more to do with helping people than being in the spotlight once again.
"I didn't want to do 'Biggest Loser' to be famous or be on a magazine cover, because I've already been through that," Kournikova noted. "I wanted to live and breathe exercise and nutrition. I wanted to play a role in helping people change their lives for the better."
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