Kate Upton braves Antarctica, gets on cover of Sports Illustrated for second straight year

Kate Upton is appearing in the magazine's Swimsuit issue for the third straight year. She has been the cover model for the last two years.

WRITTEN BY: Ted Ballantine
The cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Image Source: Courtesy of Derek Kettala/Sports Illustrated. Visit SI.com/Swimsuit for more info. Magazine on sale now.
The cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is back—and so is Kate Upton, who is appearing in the magazine for the third year in a row and is on the cover for the second straight year.

Sports Illustrated releases its famous Swimsuit issue once a year, usually around February, and always features a female model on the cover posing in an exotic locale. The Swimsuit issue is credited with popularizing the bikini and launching supermodels into the mainstream.

The 2013 Swimsuit issue, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, features models posing on all seven continents, a feat never previously achieved by the magazine. But Upton had the most interesting shoot—taking swimsuit pictures in Antarctica.

Kate Upton spent 10 days in December with Sports Illustrated shooting in Antarctica at a time when the continent was experiencing a relatively warm patch of weather. Still, the wind chills were consistently below zero, according to Upton, and the shoot wasn’t easy.

According to People Magazine, the weather caused numerous problems for the crew, including drastically shortening the life of the crew’s camera batteries. But the Swimsuit issue editor told People that the cover turned out great despite the harsh conditions.

"Everything about the picture is perfect," editor MJ Day said. "The light, the background, the suit. It's different from what we've done in past years, and it was an exciting moment for us to have those photos work out." 

The “perfect” photo, Day said, happened nearly by accident. He threw the coat on Upton and took the picture as an “afterthought”; it was only later that the photo was chosen to be the coveted cover photo.

"I figured, why not a coat?" Day told People. "We threw it on, took maybe 100 frames, then moved on. Then that night, the photographer and I were looking at photos, and he said, 'I don't know, could this be it?' It just had that energy."

The magazine doesn’t determine before-hand which model will be on the cover, so Kate Upton didn’t know she was set to grace the front page once again this year. She only found out over Twitter, when the cover of the magazine leaked on Friday—four days early. 

It was a nice get-well present for Upton, who said in an interview with FoxNews.com that she was sick for days upon returning to the United States.

“But I didn't die, and I'm OK now,” Upton said.

She even had some advice for future tourists of Antarctica:

"You are definitely recommended to keep your clothes on."