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Sports Illustrated Cover Girl Kate Upton: 5 Facts to Know About Her

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Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage

Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage

Kate Upton got hearts racing when her cover of Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition hit newsstands on Tuesday — or maybe you caught it earlier when it leaked online due to overwhelming demand. Sure, she's curvaceous in all the right places and her face embodies classic '50s pinup beauty, but there is more to the 19-year-old supermodel than just meets the eye.

Teen Dream
Upton, who grew up in Florida, was discovered at the age of 15 when she attended an open casting call in Miami — and Elite Model Management signed her that very afternoon. Soon enough, the 5'10" stunner was appearing in swimsuit and lingerie campaigns. Good thing she's not modest! "Because I started in Miami, I was always comfortable in that," the 2010-2011 Guess spokesmodel said in an interview with AskMen.com.

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Horse Whisperer
Growing up, the teen was an accomplished equestrian who competed on a national level and won five championships with her beloved Roanie Pony in the American Paint Horse Association. With another horse, Zipped, the animal-lover took home top honors in the Western Riding category was in the Top 5 for Horsemanship in 2009.

Photos: Kate Upton Is the 2012 S.I. Swimsuit Cover Girl

Internet Sensation
Last April, a video of Upton doing "The Dougie" (the hip-hop dance made popular by the group Cali Swag District) at a Los Angeles Clippers game went viral with more than 3 million views on her personal YouTube channel. The second most-watched video on the Kate Upton Experience? The bikini-clad model having a staring contest with a male fan (Spoiler Alert: He loses almost immediately), which has over 1.2 million views. But something tells us that number will soon spike, too.

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Ready For Her Closeup
Just like Brooklyn Decker before her, Upton is already making the move from SI cover girl to actress. Last year, she made her debut in the Ben Stiller-Eddie Murphy comedy "Tower Heist" as Mr. Hightower's mistress, and in April, fans will see her once again on the big screen in the much-hyped "Three Stooges." Her role? Sister Bernice, a very covered-up nun, alongside "Glee" star Jane Lynch -- so you just know it's going to be hilarious. "If I get pegged as a bikini girl, that's fine, and that can still translate into acting or other areas," Upton told Esquire last year. "I don't want to be doing bikini shoots my whole life."

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Future Football Wife
There's something about Upton -- gee, what could it be? -- that really attracts some of the biggest names in the NFL. Last July, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tweeted a few, er, forward messages to the buxom teen including a shirtless photo of himself making lewd gestures. But there's another football star who has managed to score a touchdown with the top model: Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Although the two claim to be just friends, eyewitnesses have spied the hunk -- who has also been linked to Hayden Panettiere and Jamie-Lynn Sigler -- doing the walk of shame out of Upton's NYC apartment a number of times over the last few months.

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