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Bar Refaeli made history this month, becoming the first Israeli model to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Born in Hod HaSharon, the 21-year-old beauty started doing commercials in Israel when she was eight months old. At 10, she wanted to be a skydiver; then she gave up modeling for the three years that she had braces. Lucky for S.I. readers, though, at 15 she jumped back into the game and has been climbing the pinup ladder ever since

In an interview with the magazine, Refaeli said that the Hebrew song “My Friend” about the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin makes her cry, and revealed that what attracts her to a man is “a sense of humor, kindness, the way he laughs.” (Don’t get your hopes up: She’s been dating actor Leonardo DiCaprio for months.) Refaeli said she was very proud of her groundbreaking fashion feat.

“It’s always a huge honor to be the first to do something,” she told the magazine. “People always remember the first person to do something.”

Especially if all she’s wearing is a little shmatte.

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