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2014 SI swimsuit cover
2014 SI Swimsuit Issue cover girls,
Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, and
Chrissy Teigen.

Who will be the SI swimsuit cover model in 2014?

2014 marks the SI's 50th anniversary swimsuit issue in a great American tradition that puts the heat back in February.

This year, the new photo shoot began in June, with mystery photos posted by SI's teaser blog Swim Daily. (Watch for more tantalizing pics as the year goes on.)

Last year, speculation mounted that the landmark 50th anniversary issue might include big group shot -- including Christie Brinkley, Kate Upton, Bar Rafaeli, Brooklyn Decker, and other famous cover models that have been splashed on the cover throughout the years.

Meanwhile, rumors about a solo cover continued to buzz hot and heavy about current supermodels Anne V, Nina Agdal, Isabel Goulart -- and possibly the first redhead to make the cover -- Cintia Dicker.

Then there was this year's "it" girl -- Emily Ratajkowski -- who recently skyrocketed to fame with her topless appearance in Robin Thicke's music video "Blurred Lines" and who already enjoyed a recognition quotient that's off the charts.

kate upton on the 2014 flip side cover
SI Swimsuit Issue "flip-side"
cover girl Kate Upton

The big reveal came a week earlier this year, however, when SI decided to surprise the THREE supermodels that made the cover (Nina Agdal, Lily Aldrige, and Chrissy Teigen) during an interview at Sports Illustrated. They later released the video of their reactions along with a sneak peak at the February 18th cover photo (above.).

Of course, most of us wouldn't have minded seeing Kate Upton grace the cover again this year, or for the next decade to come! And sure enough, this year marks the first time that Sports Illustrated has provided a "flip side" cover featuring everyone's favorite SI cover girl!

Had Kate Upton made the actual cover, she would have also made history as one of only two models who ever appeared on three covers in a row, the first being Christie Brinkley (1979, 1980, and 1981). As it now stands, Upton is now a remarkable asterisk on the list of most SI Swimsuit cover appearances ever.

Swimsuit Issue 2014 publication date

By tradition, the SI Swimsuit issue comes out on the second Tuesday in February, but this year it was a week later on Tuesday February 18, 2014 as the new issue hit newsstands nationwide.

Also new this year? Although the tradition has always been to preview the new SI cover on the David Letterman Show the night before, the big news was announced on Jimmy Kimmel Live over on ABC on the night of Monday, February 17th when the new swimsuit issue cover girl(s) were revealed.

All about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue

Kate Upton swimsuit issue
Kate Upton on the cover of
the 2013 SI swimsuit issue,

also see -> SI swimsuit
cover facts & photos

In the winter of 1964, Sports Illustrated magazine was in its usual sales slump. So the editorial staff at SI decided to try something new.

Babette Marche, a model in a racy (for the time) bikini was splashed across the cover for their new February issue and - surprise! - the very first SI swimsuit issue was almost an instant sellout.

Soon, hot-blooded sports fans by the millions were waiting at mailboxes for delivery of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in an annual winter tradition.

Since then, Sports Illustrated is credited with almost single-handedly launching the Era of the Supermodel, giving rise to the careers of Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley, Rachel Hunter, Elle Macpherson and Kathy Ireland (to name only a few) who have since graced the cover.

The 2006 landmark "topless" cover featured models Veronica Varekova, Elle Macpherson, Rebecca Romijn, Rachel Hunter, Daniela Pestova, Elsa Benitez, Carolyn Murphy and Yamila Diaz. Inside, Heidi Klum was the featured photo spread and, (just to keep it fairly legit as a sports issue), tennis pro Maria Sharapova also appeared in the lower right hand corner over the sub-headline, "...As You've Never Seen Her".

Fortunately, fans no longer have to wait anxiously at their mailboxes for the hardcopy, and enjoy almost instantaneous access to the swimsuit issue online - including model profiles, behind the scenes photo shoots and video clips, along with an entire archive of favorite editions.

Check them all out here ....

More about the SI Swimsuit Issue around the Web:

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue - The full multimedia extravaganza including the latest & greatest photos, video clips, screen savers, cell phone wallpapers and, of course, the full Marisa Miller spread ....

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue - The complete history from Wikipedia, including a list of SI cover girls and related gallery of historic covers from 1964 to the present.

The Top 10 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Covers in the History of Ogling - The Dallas Observer's take on the hottest covers including lots of eye candy. - Sports Illustrated Models - Check out these hotttest babes from the 2006 All Star issue with photos and related links to more on Elsa Benitez, Carolyn Murphy, and Daniela Pestova.

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