SI Covergirl Kate Upton Turning into Sports World's Most Popular Non-Athlete

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SI Covergirl Kate Upton Turning into Sports World's Most Popular Non-Athlete
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

For the second consecutive year, Kate Upton will grace the cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue (via Sports Illustrated). This is just the latest chapter in Upton's growing legend.

As a result of this honor, Upton is rapidly becoming the sports world's most popular non-athlete.

Whether she's your girlfriend's least favorite figure or the poster on your college dorm room walls, Upton has become a household name. In fact, you could argue that more fans are up on their news about Kate Upton than they are Justin or B.J. Upton

Sad, but true.

For what it's worth, Upton does have her fair share of experience in athletics. She was a relatively accomplished horseback rider (via GQ).

This latest turn of events, however, is what solidifies Upton's status as a sports world superstar.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Kate Upton with New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.

Finding yourself on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition just one time is respectable enough, but twice is unheard of. In fact, Upton is just the first model since 2006 to make at least two appearances on the cover.

Others who have graced the front page at least twice include Tyra Banks, Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs and Elle Macpherson.

Brooklyn Decker was the inset in 2009 and found herself on the cover in 2010. Upton was also the inset in 2011.

She has now covered the magazine in 2012 and 2013. And it doesn't stop there.

AskMen.com recently released a list titled "Top 99 Women of 2013." Upton came in third behind actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Mila Kunis.

The next leading model was Miranda Kerr, who is affiliated with Victoria's Secret and has limited links with the sports world.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Kate Upton at the Daytona 500.

Furthermore, Upton was included in Maxim's Hot 100 in 2012.

In the world of modeling, Upton is approaching the level of "elite." In the world of sports, Upton is becoming a legend in the same manner as the likes of Ireland, Tiegs, Banks and Macpherson.

I suppose we could label her as the LeBron James of swimsuit modeling. Much like LeBron, Upton is also young enough to continue this string of success for years to come.

According to IMDB, Upton is 20 years old. For perspective on how long her legend could last, Macpherson covered the 2006 issue at 41 years of age.

In other words, if you're getting sick of Kate Upton, her disappearance will not be your remedy. She's going to continue her non-athlete reign of terror throughout the sports world for quite some time.

Get adjusted.

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