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petra nemcova

Born and raised in Karvina, in the Czech Republic, Petra Nemcova has taken the modeling world by storm. Ever since a modeling scout discovered her on the streets of her native country, she seems to be plastered in every magazine layout and advertisement. Petra won the opportunity to model "swimsuits" for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue in 2002, which was her second appearance in the magazine that has launched several modeling careers.

In addition to her work for SI, the Next agency model has graced the pages of Elle, Harper's Bazaar and the French model Madame Figaro, and is a model for companies like Max Factor, La Perla and Cartier.

Her first American TV appearance was on the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, where the smitten host (who announced his love for her and British singer Dido) predicted that she would make the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue in 2003 -- and he was right.

The women of the Czech Republic (and the Slovak Republic) have been getting so many rave reviews over the years for their astounding looks, that one can only wonder why the Czech Tourism Board wastes their time publicizing the history and architectural beauty of its capital Prague, instead of its newer and decidedly more sexy export: gorgeous models.

Paulina Porizkova started the trend. Then came Daniela Pestova, Eva Herzigova, Veronica Varekova and Adriana Sklenarikova. When does the madness end?

Never, we hope, and it seems like our prayers are being answered because there is a new star on the horizon and her name is Petra Nemcova. Petra sounds so rough and naughty. Nemcova sounds so "come hither." Before you even see a picture of her, you are already turned on by her name.

We've always known about Petra from afar, but now, thanks to her appearance in the 2002 and 2003 editions of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, it seems everyone is in on our little secret. And like us, she enamored everyone "at hello" (though the picture in 2002's SI of her sitting on a chair wearing a white shirt, hanging low off her shoulders, certainly converted many non-believers to the Petra Is A Goddess church).

Like we've referred to before, "talent" and "model" don't usually end up in the same sentence (not without "lack of," "no," or "non-existent," as adjoining words). So our voting panel is always particularly harsh when it comes to rating models in this category (though bitterness has something to do with it).

Where Petra scores high is in her personality. Instead of wasting away the days in Milan smoking and drinking double espressos on an outside terrace, Petra decided to learn English. For those of us on the other side of the pond (that's the Atlantic pond for those who are asleep and/or unaware of the European reference to the mass stretch of ocean), that makes an attractive candidate an even better one for the position of our girlfriend. Let's see, she's beautiful, outgoing, funny, intelligent, and doesn't mind giving her significant other foot massages. Yes, we think she fits our criteria… but do we fit hers?

"Mamma Mia," said every man in Milan that crossed Petra's path.

As if Petra's long legs and luscious lips didn't give you the urge to grab her and kiss her until Armageddon, her charm and smile strike another arrow in our already tortured hearts. Is it even legal to let women as sexy as her wander the streets?

One of the readers on our panel summed it up right when he wrote, "Damn, she's hotter than a tea kettle burning jet fuel." Whatever that means...

After being discovered on the streets of the Czech Republic (like all elite models it seems), Next Agency took her under its wing, determined to make her a star. Though her choice of modeling gigs initially left a lot to be desired, she has since been upgraded to "up-and-coming" status thanks to appearances in Sports Illustrated, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Madame Figaro, and Stuff. She has also done promotions for Max Factor, Cartier and La Perla.

She has earned the admiration (and dare we say love) of Craig Kilborn, who boldly predicted that she would grace the cover of SI's 2003 edition -- and we are proud (and very pleased) to say that the late night host was right.

Once men worldwide get a glimpse of Petra on the cover of the 2003 edition of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue, her name will be on everyone's lips (while her body will be on their minds).

At 5'8", with brown hair, blue eyes, and a physique that would rival any woman's, she has all the elements of a perfect, natural woman. Even without make-up, she does not fail to impress (unlike many of her industry co-workers). Our voting panel was floored by her beauty, and for good reason.

Not only do Czech models have Mother Nature supplying them with fantastic bodies, but they also inherited incredible fashion sense. Petra's style follows the now popular Italian and Spanish look of high heels, faded jeans and tops filled with frills, sequined appliqué, chiffon and flowery patterns… uh, don't tell anyone we used those words.

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