Model Irina Shayk, a Russian bombshell and the girlfriend of Cristiano Ronaldo, has been revealed as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011 cover model as we all know.This bikini beauty is not new to cover shoots. She has also appeared on the cover of foreign issues of Elle, GQ, Vanity Fair and many more.
But what do we know about this stunning young lady.
She was born as Irina Shaykhlislamova on January 6, 1986 in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia. Irina’s mother was a kindergarten music teacher, a pianist, and her father was a coal miner. She has an older sister named Tatiana.
Irina started playing piano at age of six and when she was 9 she entered a music school and studied for 7 years, singing in a choir and playing piano.
Her father died of pneumonia complications when Irina was 14, leaving her family with little money and forcing her mother to work two jobs to provide for her two girls.
Shayk started studying marketing, however was bored by it and then entered a local beauty school with her sister. There she got noticed by a person from a local model agency who was struck by her unusual beauty. Right away Irina was proposed to participate in a beauty contest “Miss Chelyabinsk 2004″. It was a total surprise for her when she won the contest and became miss Chelyabinsk. Of course many noticed this beauty and recommended that she become a full-time model.
She said :” It’s from my father that I got my unusual looks which often cause people to think that I am South American. My father was dark-skinned, because he was Tatar. Sometimes Tatars can look Brazilian.” Irma also said that she gets light eyes from her mother.
Irina started her career relatively late for a model, at the age of 19. In 2007 she replaced Ana Beatriz Barros as the face of Intimissimi and in the same year deputed in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, gaining international recognition as a “rookie”.
Since 2007 she has appeared in every annual edition ever since.
She also helping a maternity hospital in her home town, Yemanzhelinsk. Irina and her sister helped rebuild the children’s ward of the local hospital, and now Shayk raises money for a Russian charity, Pomogi, which provides care to sick children. She is the official ambassador for Pomogi charity in Russia.
Irina is an animal lover as well and she has a pet dog named Caesar who is a Lab who, she claims, was fathered by one of the dogs who played the movie title role in “Marley & Me.”
Since Spring of 2010, she has been dating footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Shayk and Ronaldo met through Armani Exchange campaigns.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011