1. Petra Nemcova graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2003, and for the magazines’s 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue, she was named an SI Legend.
2. Nemcova did a Reddit AMA on Monday, meant to raise awareness for her organization Happy Hearts Fund, which has rebuilt 85 schools to date since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
Nemcova lost her fiancé in the disaster, and started the Happy Hearts Fund in 2006.
3. Here are some highlight’s from the AMA:
4. On the tsunami and her philanthropic efforts following the event.
ThePeachyPanda: At what point during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami did you realize that you were in danger? Did you hear about it on the news first or did you witness the tsunami first?
PN: There was no warning at all. Everything happened within seconds. First I heard people screaming and then the whole bungalow which I was in with my partner started to crumble from the tsunami waves.
Robtangle: Given that you’ve accomplished so much in both your professional and humanitarian pursuits, what’s your proudest achievement? And/or what’s your next big goal or dream?
PN: Knowing that children who went through so much trauma during a natural disaster and were forgotten…for many months and sometimes years now have disaster proof schools…is the proudest achievement for me and the happy hearts fund team.My next dream for Happy Hearts and beyond is my goal to create sustained response after natural disaster so children are not forgotten for so many years.
5. On beauty.
vertigounconscious: Do you ever find it difficult to be an incredibly beautiful woman? Where does it become a disadvantage?
PN: Every disadvantage can become an advantage, it is dependent on what you do with it. For example, in primary school I was the tallest of all the girls and boys in the classroom. I didn’t like it. It was a disadvantage but became an advantage in my modeling career. In terms of beauty, when people see me they may quickly put me in a box. But when they meet me I get my way out of the box. Beauty for me became a tool to open doors. Embrace all the gifts you get from life they are there for a reason.
6. On what it was like to be on Dancing With The Stars
readcommentbackwards: In reality, how tough is Dancing with the Stars? How much time did you put in daily/weekly for learning the routine?
PN: It was 8 hours every single day. No days off. And after each day as well there were many interviews. It was the whole spectrum it was hard and painful and on the other end actually exciting and rewarding!
7. And of course, on being a model for Sports Illustrated.
TumorPizza: For being an SI Legend, do you get any kind of acknowledgement - like a World Series Ring or something?
PN: I like your idea. Great thinking I will talk to the SI people. All we get now is the SI Legend title which makes me feel extremely lucky and at the same time extremely old. My friend Quincy Jones is called a legend he just turned 81. What are you trying to say? ;)