Irina Shayk is set to appear on the cover of the annual swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.
IRINA SHAYK, the 25-year-old Russian model, has won the race to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition. There has been much speculation as to who would land the coveted shot, with Brooklyn Decker also reported to have been in the running. Shayk has been a regular in the swimsuit edition since 2007, and has finally been given the opportunity to star on the issue's cover. Speaking to Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira on the Today Show this morning (15th February 2011), Shayk says the news is yet to sink in, saying, "I'm still so surprised to be with you guys on the Today show. And to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated is a dream come true. We Russians, you know, we know all the secrets, but I didn't know I was landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and it was so surprising to me. I was in shock; I was crying". In becoming a cover star, Shayk joins a long and illustrious list of models that include Christie Brinkley, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Rebecca Romijn.
The magazine traditionally guards the identity of its cover star until the very last minute, but Shayk says she remembers shooting the image that eventually landed her the cover, saying, "I never get to see the photos when we take them, but I remembered the swimsuit".