In our ever-expanding efforts to get to know SI's swimsuit models, we reached out to Kate Bock's best friend from childhood to get the inside scoop on the reigning Swimsuit Rookie of the Year. Here's what Nina Shumiatcher had to say.
Name: Nina Shumiatcher
Location: Vancouver, BC
SwimDaily: Hi Nina. Tell is how long have you've known Kate? When did you first meet?
Nina Shumiatcher: Twenty years, we met in gymnastics when we were five-years-old. After that we went to elementary school, high school, family vacations, summer camp and more together. We were together a lot...
SD: Was it obvious from a young age that she would wind up as a model or did she grow into her looks?
NS: Yes, definitely. Also she was scouted at a swim meet when we were really young so ( even though her braces kept her from an overwhelming work load) to all our old friends she has been a model from a young age.
SD: Okay, enough of the niceties. Tell us your most embarrassing Kate story.
NS: In high school we were in Mexico with her family and there was a really cute, surfer guy from California staying in the condo next to ours. We were sneaking out one night and wanted him to hang out with us so we went to what we thought was his bedroom and started scratching at the screened window and whispering his name. We found out it was his parent's bedroom when we overheard them all laughing about it at the breakfast table the next morning.
SD: That's a good one. Now that we're on a roll, tell me your second most embarrassing story about Kate.
NS: Katie would always forget to take out her contacts at sleepovers and would wake up the next morning with red, irritated eyes. One time it was so bad she had to wear an eye patch for a few days, even to school, it was hilarious. She also wore headgear every night, even when we went to overnight summer camp, because she didn’t realize it was embarrassing to do that.
SD: We all went through a headgear phase - though not everyone wore it at summer camp. While we're talking about your younger days, tell me about the typical Saturday night in middle or high school? What did you used to do for fun?
NS: This is embarrassing. We both had long distance boyfriends who lived in Toronto so we would hang out at one of our houses and talk about them a lot. We also went to house parties with friends.
SD: Did you guys go to any concerts growing up that you're now somewhat ashamed of now that you look back on it?
NS: We did go to NSync and it was awesome!!! And the next concert we went to together was JayZ/Coldplay and it was the opposite of embarrassing! Except for the way we acted ... singing, screaming, dancing, crying and taking a hundred pictures.
SD: Did you guys ever have one a one of those dance routines all girls seemed to have put together in middle school? Was there a particular song you used to love?
NS: I think we had a dance routine to most of the Spice Girls songs. I can still remember the one to Stop Right Now. We also made a music video to Men in Black that my dad filmed it for us ... I still have somewhere on VHS.
SD: I think you could make a lot of money with that video right now. Did you guys play any high school sports together? Was she any good?
NS: Katie was a lot sportier than I was, I was more into dance. Katie was a great soccer player, she also played volleyball and baseball all through high school. We were both fast though so we loved track and field in school, especially the relay races.
SD: What was it like to pick up the SI Swimsuit issue and see your best friend in it?
NS: It was crazy!! I brought the magazine back to my office and walked around showing everyone and bragging about my best friend the Sports Illustrated rookie! Over the next few weeks I continued to walk around showing off photos and harassing them to vote for her.
SD: What do you do when you hang out now?
NS: All sorts of things, we like to turn our visits into trips. This year I visited her in New York, we met in Kelowna, last month we were in Hawaii, and obviously she comes home to Vancouver. We love just hanging out and catching up, it's actually weird how much we can talk. We're in touch most days but still when we see each other it takes about a day to bring each other up to speed with each other's lives. I fill her in on life in the office in Vancouver and she tells me about going to Easter Island to shoot Sports Illustrated, cool.
SD: Has she introduced you to anyone famous Have you gotten any free swag?
NS: Katie pretty much shares all the free swag she gets. I went to a wedding with my family last year and my mom, my sisters and I all wore dresses we borrowed from Katie. Oh and I am still waiting for her to introduce me to Ryan Gosling.
SD: Tell me about yourself - what do you do with your life?
NS: I work in real estate development which I love. The industry is huge in Vancouver so my job is always exciting, busy, and dynamic which definitely keeps things interesting.