Report: Bar Refaeli Tapped for ‘Sports Illustrated’ 2009 Swimsuit Cover

Forget the back-and-forth about the positions remaining to be filled in President Barack Obama’s cabinet. A much more important choice has been made: The cover model of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue!

CBS 2 News reports that Bar Refaeli, 23-year-old Israeli-born model and boyfriend to Leonardo DiCaprio, will be gracing the cover of this year’s swimsuit edition.

The decision was revealed during a taping of Late Night With David Letterman today, when a billboard of the cover was unveiled over Broadway in New York’s theater district.

Judging from Refaeli’s earlier body of work, Celebuzz in confident in proclaiming that Sports Illustrated has made the right choice.

According to the New York Post, Refaeli was slated to appear on last year’s cover, but lost the slot to Marisa Miller because she blabbed too much about the deal.

“It’s very secretive, and the magazine likes to keep people guessing,” a source told the paper.

Since debuting in 1964, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has sported top models such as Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Cheryl Tiegs and Elle Macpherson. In 2006 the mag broke tradition and featured singer Beyonce Knowles on the cover.

The 2009 issue is due to hit newsstands later this month.