Irina Shayk has been revealed via bigass billboard to be the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl, fronting the annual February offering to the bikini-bod gods in a Day-Glo, barely there fuchsia suit while kneeling in the sand on some beach.
As if anyone's going to be noticing the beach.
Anyway, now that Shayk has reached the pinnacle of swimsuit-modeldom, it's only right we share some need-to-know information about her...
PHOTOS: Sports Illustrated is full of hot guys, too!
1. She Has Patiently Waited Her Turn: So many girls, so few covers. This is Shayk's fifth appearance in the Swimsuit Issue, so the 25-year-old Russian beauty is no newcomer to frolicking in the sand in the winter. Born in the town of Emangelynsk, located in greater Chelyabinsk, she was discovered in 2004 while on a train to Moscow, where she was apparently trying to flee from all those consonants after winning a modeling contest. (Incidentally, her real last name is Shaykhlislamova.) Three years later, she was debuting in SI, named the face of Italian lingerie brand Intimissimi and signing with Lacoste and La Perla. She has also modeled for Armani Exchange and Guess? and starred in Kanye West's "Power" video last summer. She was named International Model of the Year in 2010 by Spanish Glamour. "Sometime I thank God my parents make me beautiful," Shayk told the New York Post last year. "But it's just a body, and I believe in second life. What's my life gonna be like next time if I'm not gonna have my face then?...In my next life I want to come back as my dog. He has the best life! Right now he is on vacation in Miami." www.wdalaw.com
2. Her Heart Is Pretty, Too: Shayk hasn't forgotten where she came from. She is an ambassador for Pomogi, a Russian charity that provides for sick children, and she and her sister helped raise funds to rebuild the children's ward in her hometown's main hospital.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Irina Shayk Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
3. Her Boyfriend's No Slouch: Shayk has reportedly been dating Portuguese soccer hottie Cristiano Ronaldo after meeting through their respective Armani ties, Ronaldo's being a sizzling, Beckhamesque underwear campaign. He also happens to be the highest-paid footballer in the world and the whole, er, package he's got going on probably didn't hurt when Shayk had to deal with conflicting reports about him fathering a son last June with another woman—a Portuguese paper said he hired a surrogate to have the child, while U.K. tabloids said the child was a result of a fling. But, Ronaldo and Shayk were photographed looking happy (smiling, at least!) while vacationing in the Maldives just last month, so maybe the next bun will be in Shayk's oven.
4. She Did Not Get Naked for Spanish GQ: The girl's got boundaries. Shayk threatened legal action after GQ Spain allegedly airbrushed the Intimissimi body suit she was photographed in to make her look naked in its December 2010 issue. "Supermodel Irina Shayk is the victim of 'photoshop' and breach of contract over photo approval in GQ Spain," the managing director of her modeling agency said in a stated at the time. "The Intimissimi ambassador dawns the cover in an Intimissimi lingerie body suit but unfortunately was photoshopped to appear naked in three images of the 14-page spread. A contract was signed on behalf of Ms. Shayk by Elite Model Management where she was to have approval of the interview, cover and images and was refused that right by the publication. Ms. Shayk was not nude and did not approve these images. Irina Shayk NEVER saw the images, cover or caption that was used in GQ Spain."
5. Get Ready: She's popped out of mailboxes in Germany, France, South Africa, Russia, Greece and Spain multiple times, but Shayk's only U.S. cover to date, besides Sports Illustrated that is, has been the July/August 2010 issue of upper-crust life-style magazine Ocean Drive. We figure she's due for a Vogue model-cluster cover soon. Oh, and she'll be a guest on The Late Show With David Letterman on Tuesday night.
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