Petra Nemcova Profile
Name: Petra Nemcova
Height: 5' 10''
Birth Date: June 24, 1979
Birth Place: Karvina, Czech Republic
Profession: Model, Actress, Writer
Relationship: James Blunt (British musician; born on February 22, 1977; confirmed as couple on July 2006), Simon Atlee (British fashion photographer; drowned in Thailand by the tsunami on December 26, 2004)
Claim to fame: Featured on the cover of the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Petra Nemcova Biography
Petra Nemcova (born June 24, 1979) in Karvina, Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic) is a fashion model and; founder and president of Happy Hearts Fund. In December 2004, she was injured in Thailand by a tsunami resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake; her then-fiance, Simon Atlee, was killed in the tsunami.
Her father was a mason and her mother, a teacher. She became a model after being spotted at the age of 16 during a national talent search.
She was featured on the cover of the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and has also modeled for Victoria's Secret, and for many other companies in the women's clothing market. In addition to working with world class photographers on her Sports Illustrated shoots, she was the object/subject of Joanne Gair's body painting work. On June 3, 2004, she was one of the telecast judges during the 53rd annual Miss Universe competition in Quito, Ecuador.
During the Indian Ocean earthquake of December 26, 2004, Petra was at the Khao Lak resort in Thailand with her main photographer and fiance, Simon Atlee when the tsunami struck where they were staying. Initially, Atlee was presumed missing, but his body was found and identified on March 3, 2005, on the shores of Sumatra (near the epicenter of the earthquake that caused the Tsunami).
Atlee drowned, and Nemcova suffered a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries, but she managed to hold onto the top of a palm tree, reportedly for eight hours, until she was rescued by Thai civilians and airlifted to an inland hospital nearby. Petra spent three weeks in a Thai hospital, and then flew home to the Czech Republic, where she spent an additional three weeks in the hospital. Atlee's body was not found until over two months after the tsunami. Petra's first interview after her near-death experience was with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Primetime Live, on March 9, 2005. She has also spoken of her experiences on the "Larry King Live" program on CNN.