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"It's really amazing being able to bring different types of beauty together and appreciate and admire all of them," Kate Bock tells PEOPLE of being apart of Sports Illustrated Swim's 2021 issue

By Eric Todisco and Brittany Talarico
March 01, 2021 02:28 PM
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Kate Bock; Sports Illustrated
Kate Bock
| Credit: James Macari/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Kate Bock is kicking off Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's model reveal of 2021.

On Monday, the 33-year-old Canadian star was unveiled as the magazine's first model for this year's annual issue, which hits stands in July. Bock, who has appeared in the issue eight times before, celebrated the honor on Instagram alongside a photo of herself in a black swimsuit from the shoot.

"SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT 2021 !!! A new year, the first reveal, my 9th issue !!!" she wrote. "I'm sooo THRILLED to be able to show you a little SNEAK PEEK of my shoot for swimsuit 21 !! This unprecedented year has made me even more grateful for every opportunity in my life with @si_swimsuit right at the top of the list. I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU GUYS TO SEE WHAT'S COMING !!!! 💛💛💛."

"I'm dreaming from my apartment in sweatpants of being that girl on the beach right now !! #endlesslygrateful#heartfull #siswim," added Bock.

SI Swimsuit will be releasing on new model per day throughout the month of March on its Instagram page — but fans will have to wait until the July launch to learn who will cover this year's issue.

Due to covid-19 travel restrictions, the SI Swim team stayed stateside this year and partnered with Hard Rock International for the creation of the issue to "ensure their stays in various locations were covid safe, following restrictions and regulations while traveling," a rep tells PEOPLE..

In an exclusive Q&A with PEOPLE, Bock spoke about being named the first 2021 swimsuit model, how she prepped for the shoot amid the COVID-19 pandemic and her wedding plans to fiancée Kevin Love, whom she got engaged to in January.

You are an SI Swimsuit vet. What's been your most memorable shoot?

"I would have to say our Bali shoot in 2019 was the most memorable. It was such an incredible trip; I got to share some of the experience with Jasmine and Olivia, we had perfect weather, and the shoot just went so smoothly. It now feels like a dream that we got to fly to Bali to shoot for a few days!"

How was shooting during the pandemic different? Why was the experience rewarding?

"Honestly, I had a great time this year shooting in Miami.  I feel beyond lucky that Sports Illustrated was able to figure out a way to allow us to shoot safely during such a tough time. It was such a treat to feel like myself again, being back on a shoot, on set, and on location. We took every precaution and the shoot was great! Now I can't wait for it to come out!"

How do you prep for a swimsuit shoot?

"As a model, I sort of always want to feel good in my body, so nothing too significant happens when it's swimsuit shoot time. I don't always get much warning! I do my best to eat super clean, get a daily work out in, and drink as much water as possible going into a shoot!"

What do you find most inspiring about the message behind SI Swim?

"I love Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Launch Week, where we get to meet so many different people from different places and different backgrounds. It's really amazing being able to bring different types of beauty together and appreciate and admire all of them."

Kate Bock, Kevin Love; Ralph Lauren: FA19 Collection Show
Kate Bock and Kevin Love
| Credit: Billy Farrell / BFA

Your fiancé Kevin Love was such a big fan of your cover last year – does he give you pep talks before shoots?

"Haha, no. I mean, he's always very supportive, but I feel pretty good working and comfortable with my team. I always send him little sneak peeks along the way while we shoot; it's always exciting to be able to share little moments I'm proud of with him."

How many swimsuits do you own?

"GREAT QUESTION. The limit does not exist."

Have you kept all the suits you've worn in the pages of SI?

"I haven't!  Sometimes we're changing so quickly in a tube on set that I don't even know where they end up. However, I am planning to get my cover swimsuit framed on the wall beside Kevin's championship jersey! The cover was my championship win!"

What do you like most about social media? What do you like least? 

"I love creating mood boards as inspiration. I use my saved folders on Instagram to create spaces with different ideas, goals and dreams. I really find it so helpful to be able to organize and save ideas in one place. I also love to connect with my followers and share a lot of my inspiration, cooking ideas, work outs, fashion and beauty. I think it's so cool that you can always have friends in your pocket to give you advice, share ideas with and bounce something off of."

"The hate is awful. I don't understand how some people spend their time trying to tear others down, and unfortunately social media has given them an easy way to do it with a mask on."

Kate Bock
Kate Bock
| Credit: Karwai Tang/Getty

What's one thing you put on if you want to feel confident?

"I would spend a day in the sun, do my hair and throw on a perfect fitting pair of jeans!"

What's been your pandemic uniform?

"Leggings, sweatpants and sweatshirts. I'm SO ready to wear styled outfits regularly again! I think that when we are able to be more social and free, style is going to turn more formal again because everyone is so tired of only loungewear every day."

Any wedding plans yet? Has the dress hunt began?

"I have no idea! I think step one is finding someone who can help us plan. We luckily have the same eye and style so we are very aligned in what we want to do, but I have to learn which step goes in what order and how to start planning properly! I've worn almost every style wedding dress for work over the years; I've already popped up on my own Pinterest page as reference multiple times! I don't know what I want to wear yet! I think we need to sort out season, number of people and indoor or outdoor, before I pick a dress!"

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's next 2021 model will be unveiled on March 5.