Shayk was one of ten SI models who went on David Letterman’s show, where the cover has been traditionally been unveiled. Even then, she didn’t know.
“We were at that time in the green room – and then, little by little, we could see the fabric slowly falling, showing first the Sports Illustrated logo…then…the rest is history!” she told the Huffington Post.
“It was a roller coster of emotions. I had butterflies in the stomach. No, I’m lying — I was
sick to my stomach,” when she saw herself on the cover, she says.
“You have to understand, I come from such a small village in Russia — it’s not even in the map. So for me to be in the Sports Illustrated cover, a magazine that over 60 million people see — it’s a BIG deal and honor,” she said.
Since getting the honor, however, her schedule has been so jam-packed, between television appearances and interviews, she hasn’t had a chance to celebrate.
Shayk returned to Letterman the next night for a one-on-one with Dave. Check out the video below. And click her photos.