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10 Things About Irina Shayk Who is the Sports Illustrated Cover Girl?

If you are a swimsuit model, the holy grail to add to your portfolio is to grace not just the pages of the Sports Illustrated but to be the one and only lovely lady to grace the cover. And this year the Russian model Irina Shayk was picked as the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit 2011 cover girl, an honor that is like being named Miss America or winning the lottery . So who is Irina Shayk?

Here are 10 things about Irina.

Irina Shayk was born in Russia. She was born in 1986 and is now 24 years old.

Her last name is far longer she was born Irina Shaykhlislamova.

Her big modeling debut was in the 2007 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and has been in the spread every year since (five times) and has been photographed in such far flung locals as St. Petersburg, Naples and Chiles.

She is the very first Russian to appear on the cover of the magazine.

Since appearing in the pages of she has obtained some lucrative contracts for Intimissimi, Lacoste and LaPerla.

Her father was a coal miner and died of complications from pneumonia when she was 14. Irina worked two jobs to support the family.

Her charity work includess helping a maternity hospital in her home town, Yemanzhelinsk.

She is the girlfriend of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. The two met in 2010 when working on an Armani Exchange campaign.

She is quite exotic and many assume she is South American. She said that “My father was dark skinned, because he was Tatar. Sometimes Tatars can look Brazilian,” she says. “I get my light eyes from my mother.”

Irina has a lab named Cesare and she says that was sired by one of the dogs that starred in the movie Marley & Me.

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