Barbara Palvin is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie of the Year! 5 Things to Know about the Model

The Hungarian model was this year's fan favorite

Making it to the pages of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition is how many models dream of hitting it big, which means to be singled out as the top of the new class, as the mag’s Rookie of the Year, is a next-level honor. Since the issue hit stands in February, fans have been able to vote on who they think should take home the title, and Sports Illustrated has just announced the winner: Hungarian model Barbara Palvin!

Barbara Palvin

James Macari/Sports Illustrated

There were five rookies featured in the issue: Cover star Ashley Graham, Sofia Resing, Tanya Mityushina, Bo Krsmanovic and Palvin. Now that Palvin has won, she’s guaranteed to have a spot in next year’s issue.

In the sports world, winning the Rookie of the Year is often a sign of big things to come, and that’s true for the Swimsuit issue too: Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen and Nina Agdal have all won the award in years past. Here are five things you need to know about the 22-year-old model.

James Macari/Sports Illustrated

James Macari/Sports Illustrated

1. She was discovered in 2006 at age 12 in a village near her hometown of Budapest, Hungary. She didn’t work with an agency until 2009 when she signed with IMG (she’s still with them today), and her big break came in February 2010 when she walked the runway for Armani’s fall 2011 collection in Milan.

2. Believe it or not, she’s experienced body shaming. When she posted the photo below, apparently not all online commentary was positive — but the model struck back. “I got some nasty comments about me being fat,” Pavin tweeted. “Well I am not as skinny as I was when I was 18. But I don’t consider myself fat!”

3. She loves reading and is a science fiction fan. Palvin’s favorite author is Leslie L. Lawrence, the best-selling novelist in Hungary.

4. She’s been linked to Justin Bieber. When Bieber performed at the 2012 Victoria’s Secret show, he posed for a photo backstage with Palvin. Soon after, photos suggested that they attended The Lion King together on Broadway. After being flooded with angry tweets from Beliebers, she tweeted “hey everyone. please calm down. he is all yours!!:)”

5. She’s a global beauty ambassador for L’Oréal, alongside big stars like Blake Lively, Jane Fonda, Doutzen Kroes and Eva Longoria.

Tell us: What do you think of Palvin as SI Swimsuit’s Rookie of the Year?

–Catherine Kast

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