SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA
If everybody had an ocean across the U.S.A., Marisa Miller would be very happy. "Surfing's the best exercise in the world," says Miller, who lives a few steps from the beach in Marina del Rey, Calif. She was surfing two years ago when famed photographer Mario Testino took pictures of her; the 23-year-old has since done ads for Tommy Hilfiger, and has been on the cover of Shape. This is her second appearance in the Swimsuit Issue, but she's no stranger to sports. She grew up a 49ers fan and snared Jerry Rice's signature at a mall when she was in eighth grade. "I tore off a piece of my shopping bag so he could sign it," she says. "I still have the autograph."
KARVIN�, CZECH REPUBLIC
Petra Nemcova doesn't mind being called a Czech Chick. " Paulina Porizkova was the first Czech Chick," she says, laughing, "and she is amazing, beautiful and has a very strong personality." The same can be said about Nemcova, who grew up picking blueberries and mushrooms in Karvin�, a tiny town in the mountains northeast of Prague. She has done ads for La Perla, Max Factor, Cartier and Victoria's Secret. Nemcova loves to dance and scuba-dive, and often writes down self-help sayings to get her through difficult times. "I wish I could put these quotes on every billboard. It would make life much easier for people." The 24-year-old lives in New York City and Paris but gets to sleep in one of her own beds just a handful of days a month. Of her frequent travels, she says, "It seems like I am in the air more than on earth." She is making her third appearance in the Swimsuit Issue; this is her first time on the cover.
To prepare for her first swimsuit shoot in three years, Sarah O'Hare went on a mission. "I hired a trainer and worked out seven days a week for three months," she says. Not that anyone was complaining about how she looked before the trainer showed up. O'Hare has appeared in ads for Bonds, Wonderbra and Revlon. This is her second Swimsuit Issue. O'Hare was born in London, but her family moved to Sydney when she was just 18 months old. She started modeling at 17, after her older brother urged her to check out a local modeling agency. She was hired for a magazine cover shoot the next day. O'Hare, 30, resides in Sydney and New York City, and is pursuing a double major in history and political science at New York University. Three years ago she married Lachlan Murdoch, the deputy chief operating officer of News Corporation. (In case you're wondering, she addresses her father-in-law as Rupert.)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Audrey Quock towers over her sisters, and she couldn't be happier about it. "My sisters are borderline midgets," says the 5'10" Quock of sisters Jennie (5'2") and Wendy (5 feet). "Growing up we called ourselves JAWS for Jennie, Audrey, Wendy and [her older brother] Steven." The 26-year-old has taken a healthy bite of modeling success—ads for Cover Girl, Shisheido and Bobbi Brown—and has had some luck in acting, playing Don Cheadle's wife in Rush Hour 2 and Richard Gere's girlfriend in Autumn in New York. Discovered at 16, Quock lives in the same apartment building in Manhattan that she grew up in. Her words to live by: "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it." This is her fifth appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
TEPLICE, CZECH REPUBLIC
This is no dumb blonde. Beneath Daniela Pestova's lovely locks lies a wicked sense of humor. Asked to describe her favorite body part, she says, "On the days when it's working properly, my brain." The celebrity she most wants to see body-painted: " Hillary Clinton." It's not likely that the junior senator from New York will be appearing in the Swimsuit Issue anytime soon, but Pestova has graced these pages seven times; she has been on the cover twice (1995 and 2000). Discovered by a modeling scout in Prague at age 19, Pestova has been a top model for more than a decade and has been in ads for L'Or�al, Guess and Victoria's Secret. She lives in New York City, speaks six languages (Czech, English, Italian, French, Russian and Slovak) and is the mother of Yanick, 6, and seven-month-old Ella. Asked how she wants to be remembered, Pestova finally gets serious: "As a great mom."
BUFFALO, NEW YORK
Dead bodies don't scare Jessica White. In fact, she wouldn't mind spending the next 30 years working with them. "I've always wanted to be a forensic pathologist," she says. "I want to pursue a medical career and do autopsies." For now, she's content to bring some life to the modeling world; she has already been featured in campaigns for Cover Girl, Gap and Chlo�. She got her start at 14 when she flipped through the Buffalo Yellow Pages and found a modeling school. Success in local competitions got her invited to the International Model and Talent Association competition in 1999, which led to a contract with IMG Models in New York City. An avowed homebody, White still lives with her family in Buffalo. She recently took up golf, which she has found to be a challenge in her hometown. "Last year we got buried in snow the day before Christmas," she says. "I was snowed in for a good month!" This is White's first appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.
Flashing sophistication, Southern charm and a splash of sass, Molly Sims is the perfect host for MTV's House of Style. The 27-year-old model-actress started doing the show in 1999, following in the footsteps of SI swimsuit alums Cindy Crawford and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. It's the latest gig in a soaring career that started when Sims was an undergraduate at Vanderbilt. Today Sims is a spokeswoman for Cover Girl cosmetics and has done ads for Old Navy, Victoria's Secret, Nautica and Armani. This is her fourth appearance in the Swimsuit Issue. Sims splits her time between New York City and Los Angeles and is a big sports fan. (Her older brother, Todd, is trying to qualify for the PGA Tour.) The most dangerous thing she's ever done? "I do it every month," she says. "It's called a Brazilian bikini wax." Asked for her motto Sims says, "If you're going to be good, be good. But if you're going to be bad, be really good at being bad."
Fernanda Tavares has a secret wish: to play the violin. While Fernanda was growing up in Natal, a tropical city on the Brazilian coast, her mother, Cheilha, dreamed of having her play in the city's orchestra. The local music school didn't have a violin, though, and the orchestra's loss turned out to be our gain. She started modeling in local shows when she was nine and moved to S�o Paulo at 14 to focus full time on her career. Three years later she was on the runway for Chanel and John Galliano. Tavares has also done ads for Versace, Louis Vuitton and Armani. Tavares, who lives in New York City, is just 22, but she has a clear vision of her future. "I want to have three kids before I'm 30," she says. And don't count on her raising those kids in Manhattan. "I miss the beach every day I'm in New York. Especially when I look in the mirror and see how pale I am." This is her second appearance in the Swimsuit Issue.