Kate Upton will once again grace the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine’s highly-anticipated swimsuit edition.
This will be the second year that Upton has earned the coveted cover, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The model’s successful turn on the publication’s 2012 swimsuit issue helped skyrocket her popularity.
This year’s issue isn’t set to hit stands until next week, but a leaked image of the cover was making its way across the internet early Friday. The leak prompted Sports Illustrated to release a high-resolution version of the photo soon afterward.
The anniversary cover, officially hitting newsstands on February 12, features Kate Upton wearing white bikini bottoms and a furry parka. The photo was reportedly taken in Antarctica during a shoot that yielded several other leaked Upton photos.
The Huffington Post writes that Hannah Davis, girlfriend of Derek Jeter, was at one time rumored as a possibility for the front of this year’s issue. Given Kate Upton’s recent bout of acting and stints on the covers of fashion magazine titans such as Vogue and Vogue Italia, her return to the sports magazine is a bit surprising.
An article by Forbes writes that Upton will be the ninth model to achieve dual covers on the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition. Four women hold the honor of posing for three covers, while model Elle Macpherson made the cover a record-breaking five times.
Three-time cover model Kathy Ireland appeared in the swimsuit issue for 13 consecutive years. Her 1989 cover remains the best-selling issue to date.
The 2013 Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition featuring Kate Upton’s cover will be officially unveiled on the February 11 episode of Late Night with David Letterman.