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Five Facts About New Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model Irina Shayk

2011 Sports Illustrated Cover

She's a coal miner's daughter from Russia, dates Cristiano Ronaldo and never diets.

Below, five surprising facts about Irina Shayk, the new cover model for Sports Illustrated's 2011 swimsuit issue: 

1. She is a coal miner’s daughter from a tiny Russian village called Yemanzhelinsk. “I’m from a very, very small city in the middle of nowhere; it’s actually like one street, and everybody knows everyone,” Shayk, 25, said on NBC's Today show Tuesday.   2. She's appeared in the magazine's swimsuit issue since 2007. Discovered in 2004 while on a three-day train ride from Chelyabinsk to Moscow, Shayk has gone on to grace various magazine covers and headline ad campaigns for Lacoste and Guess. After posing for SI's Swimsuit issue for the past five years, she said on the Today show: "To be on the cover of Sports Illustrated is a dream come true."   3. She wasn't expecting the cover.  She didn't learn the big news until she appeared on CBS' Late Show With David Letterman Monday. “There were 10 models there to do the Top 10 List, and nobody knows until the last minute who the cover will be,” she told the Associated Press. “And then I saw it, and I couldn’t believe it.”   4. She's dating international soccer sensation Cristiano Ronaldo. She played coy when asked about the romance on the Today show.  “You can ask, but I wouldn’t respond,” she said. “We Russians, we like to keep secrets — you know, KGB, Russian spy!”   5. She never diets. “I do work out five times a week, but I’m never dieting,” she said. “I try to be healthy because to be happy and healthy on the inside shows on the outside.”