Kate Upton is returning to her spot on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue becoming one of the few elite models to have the honor more than once.

Upton will grace the cover of the sports magazine’s infamous swimwear edition for the second time in as many years. This year is even more of a coup as it will mark the issue’s 50th anniversary. Furthermore, Upton is the only model since Elle Macpherson earned a three-peat in the late 80s to be featured on consecutive annual covers.

In the cover photograph for the upcoming issue, the curvy model wears only a white parka and matching white string bikini bottoms while on a boat in the Arctic. Last year, Upton donned only a bikini in the spread that shot her to model stardom. Since then, she’s appeared multiple times in Vogue, and has been the star of various commercials, including the one Mercedes-Benz debuted during the Super Bowl.

Upton faced some stiff competition this year, including the girlfriend of Derek Jeter, 38, model Hannah Davis, 22. Davis has been modeling professionally since she was 14, and is currently best known for being the face of Ralph Lauren’s Ralph Rocks perfume. She appears in the top right corner of the cover with the caption, “Hannah Davis: The Dreamy Rookie” – a small consolation prize for not unseating the reigning Upton.

Although Sports Illustrated was planning to announce the cover girl on The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, the big reveal came early when The New York Post's Page Six received a leaked copy of the cover. Upton and Davis, as well as Julie Henderson, Katherine Webb, Alyssa Miller and Nina Agdal who where all in the running for top billing, will appear on the show before heading to Las Vegas.

—Chelsea Regan

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