Czech model and media personality Petra Nemcova was discovered while living in Prague in the '90s, and soon found tremendous success with the agency Next Models, appearing in numerous campaigns for brands like Cartier, Max Factor, Pantene Pro-V, and more. She would go on to become a TV presenter and host on European television, eventually crossing the pond to compete on the 12th season of the popular American reality series Dancing With the Stars. A survivor of the 2004 Thailand tsunami, Nemcova survived being stuck out in the elements when the storm hit by clinging to a palm tree for eight hours -- an event which she recounted in harrowing detail in her 2005 memoir Love Always, Petra.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Started modeling at age 15.
- Known by her family as Kvetinka, which means "little flower."
- Held on to a palm tree for eight hours when the 2004 tsunami hit Phuket, Thailand, where she and her boyfriend, photographer Simon Atlee, were vacationing. Suffered internal bleeding and her pelvis was broken in four places; Atlee was killed.
- Wrote about her ordeal in her memoir, Love Always, Petra (2005).
- Appeared on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Dmitry Chaplin.
- Founded the Give2Asia-based Happy Hearts Fund to benefit children affected by natural, economic and health-related disasters.