A few years back, an amateur pole vaulting star named Allison Stokke would take the internet by storm. Thrust into the public spotlight, Stokke seemingly became an online superstar overnight. While it has been years since she has been in the public spotlight, you’ll still find her face among the most famous pole vaulting athletes on the planet. Today, we are going to turn back the clock in order to learn about Stokke during her fame as well as where she has been ever since!
Meet a Viral Sensation
While pole-vaulting has been a sport for a long, long time, it didn’t gain mainstream popularity until recently. When Allison Stokke’s amateur pictures went viral on the internet, there was a sudden and renewed interest in the competition. Still, despite her fame, Stokke was just an amateur at the time. Did she continue pursuing a career in the sport even after her wild fame? Or did Stokke decide that ‘enough was enough’ before hanging up her cleats forever?
Allison Stokke was born Marc 22, 1989, in California. As a child, Stokke was raised by her parents, Cindy and Allan Stokke, alongside her brother, David. Stokke was raised in California and even a cursory search through her social media platforms will reveal a life filled to the brim with outdoor activities and fun in the sun. It was pretty clear that Stokke was a beach girl right from the beginning!
Making a Living
Despite being famous for her work as an athlete, Stokke wasn’t making ends meet with her skills. As an amateur athlete, Stokke wasn’t being paid like a professional, nor was she making money for being a viral star. Instead, Stokke complemented her world record talents with work as a part-time model. While Stokke would rather be remembered for her accomplishments, she knew that she could pay the bills with her incredible good looks.
Sports in the Family
While Stokke is, without a doubt, the most famous athlete in the family, she wasn’t the only competitor in the home! Allison’s brother, David, was a national level gymnast. If you don’t know much about gymnastics, just understand that it is incredibly difficult to be ranked as a national competitor! From a young age, Allison was pushed toward gymnastics, but she found that she didn’t enjoy the competition.
Finding Her Calling
Despite burning out on gymnastics, Stokke knew that she wanted to compete in some fashion. So, instead, Stokke decided to pursue a different sport. Stokke began competing in the field of pole vaulting after testing the sport in school. Stokke quickly realized that she had a natural talent for pole vaulting. Starting at the age of 15, Stokke would begin a successful career in the niche sport.
Setting Records in School
When Stokke first started competing in pole vaulting, she found herself to be an instant star. At just 15-years-old, Stokke would end up winning the United States title for pole vaulting! Stokke would jump an incredible 12.5 feet, wowing the crowd along the way. As one of the most successful young pole vaulters in the nation, her star was already preparing to burst.
Building a Successful Career
Stokke wasn’t content to just be a great high school athlete, she wanted to have Olympic success. In order to get to that level, Stokke knew that she would have to apply herself. She would break her own record in 2004 when she jumped 12 feet and 8 inches. A year later, Stokke would jump 13 feet and 5.75 inches! Stokke was clearly working toward becoming the best in the sport.
Becoming a Viral Sensation
By the time that senior year of high school had come around, Allison was feeling the impact of her efforts. Not only did she have to balance a full load of classes, but she also had to deal with national and international recognition. While Stokke wasn’t famous for her viral photograph yet, she was already famous within the pole vaulting world. Viral fame wouldn’t be too far behind, however.
The Famous Photograph
Stokke was already one of the best athletes in her field, but that wouldn’t be the reason that she went viral in 2007. Instead, one well-timed photograph would place Stokke on the trending page of every website on the internet. At least, that’s what Stokke’s early fame had felt like. Thanks to her incredible good looks, this photo of Stokke would begin spreading around the web.
Creating a Fanbase
At the time, Stokke was just waiting for her turn to compete when a random person took her photograph. The photo was quickly published on the online blog, ‘With Leather’. The blog focused on showing pictures of young women for men to ogle. At the time, Stokke was only 17-years-old. While Stokke had wanted to find fame for her work, this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind.
An Internet Crush
Still, the photograph didn’t stay on the single niche website. Instead, Stokke’s photo would spread to every corner of the web, from sites like Facebook to communities like Reddit. While she definitely had a male fanbase, she also served as an inspiration for young girls. Stokke inspired young athletes to embrace their talents in order to go far in their field.
Embracing Her Fame
As Stokke began to find herself more and more on the internet, she quickly came to realize that she had cultivated some kind of following. There were fan clubs, fan websites, and even potential endorsement deals waiting for her. Stokke was only a kid at the time, so this must have been crazy for her to see. While we might all want a little bit of fame at some point, Stokke had gotten hers by surprise.
Retaining Her Agency
Stokke’s viral fame led to some serious problems for the young star. Stokke soon found that her private photographs were leaking onto various male-oriented websites. She was soon labeled the ‘internet crush’ of 2007. Stokke soon found herself caught up in a whirlwind of problems. While she might enjoy being heralded for her work, Stokke definitely didn’t love being ogled by strangers all over the world.
The First Interview
In order to reclaim some semblance of her own personal identity, Stokke knew that she had to do something dramatic. Websites and newspapers of every level were using her name, photograph, and fame. The Washington Post and the New York Times had even covered her story! To say that things were spiraling out of control would be an understatement. So, Stokke knew that she had to sit down for an interview with CBS.
Help From Father
Stokke used her interview in order to give tips to female athletes about how to succeed in pole vaulting. The interview would go on YouTube and Stokke would have the chance to be known for something more than her looks. Unfortunately, the vast majority of comments were regarding her beauty instead of her talent. It was at this point that she asked for help from her dad, a lawyer.
Trials and Tribulations
Allison and her father would work together in order to keep illegal and inappropriate comments out of her professional feeds. Stokke would also keep an eye out for stalkers. Alan and Allison both knew the real dangers of being a young, famous, and attractive woman. While it may sound crazy, stalkers are a real problem for people like Allison.
Help From CBS
Despite how the fame was getting to her, the interview with CBS would go on to help. CBS would use her interview as a way to warn future viral sensations of the danger that internet fame could bring. CBS used the segment to highlight how easy it was for young and vulnerable women to be taken advantage of online, without their consent.
Dealing With Stalkers
As a result of her viral fame, Stokke was suddenly afraid to compete at her pole vaulting contests. Stokke would become overwhelmed by crowds of people who had all wanted a picture, signature, or conversation. While Stokke wasn’t enamored by the crowds, she was worried that someone might do something more dramatic — and dangerous.
Skills or Looks?
While Allison had her personal problems with fame, she was far more perturbed by the fact that she was being overlooked for her skills. Rather than being famous for her incredible athletic skills, Stokke was famous for her beauty. As a hard-working athlete, Stokke hated the fact that she wasn’t even being propped up for her work on the track.
Finding New Fame
Stokke knew that she could still use her fame for good. So, she began to work with various athletic brands in order to endorse their products. Before long, Stokke was supplementing her fame with actual income and she was making her athletic efforts more apparent along the way. Things weren’t all bad for Stokke.
Full Scholarship to California
Even with the problems that fame had inflicted upon Stokke, she had her college career ahead of her. Making the move from high-school to college would mean regaining some of her anonymity. Fortunately for Stokke, she would land a full scholarship to the University of California. Stokke would continue her pole vaulting career as a Golden Bear.
Focused on Olympics
By the time Allison graduated from college, she had earned a Masters Degree in Sociology while setting several world records in track and field. Despite all of her success at the collegiate level, Allison knew that she still had a long way to go. Allison had dreams of making it to the Olympics as a competitor and she wasn’t ready to stop trying now.
Always Setting Records
With her sights set on the London Olympics, Stokke knew that she had to bring her A-Game. As a result, Stokke would double-down on her training regiment while focusing on setting records. If Stokke was going to make the Olympics, she was going to do it her way. By the time that 2012 had rolled around, Stokke had improved her personal best jump to 14 feet and 3.5 inches.
Coming Up Short
Despite her hard work and tangible results, Stokke would come up just short. Stokke would not qualify during the Olympic qualifiers. Instead, Stokke would come up short, missing out on clearing the 14 feet hurdle. In the blink of an eye, Stokke’s dream of Olympic gold would shatter in front of her.
Major Athletic Endorsements
By the time that 2015 rolled around, Stokke was fully immersed in her new job as a professional model. While she had not given up on her training, Stokke knew that she should strike while the iron was hot. Stokke would quickly score several huge athletic endorsements from major sports brands like Nike and GoPro.
Working With GoPro
Stokke would become a viral sensation yet again, but this time by her own decision. Stokke would partner with GoPro as a brand ambassador. She would use the GoPro attachment on her pole as she did her pole vaulting routine. The video would go viral and Stokke would be back int he public spotlight.
Deal With Uniqlo
With fame firmly in hand, Stokke had an idea as to where she wanted to go with her career. For the first time since going viral as a teenager, Stokke had her hand on the steering wheel. In 2016, Stokke would sign a contract with Uniqlo in order to model their new line of athletic clothing.
Meet Rickie Fowler
It was around 2016 that Allison would make her way into the tabloids. Stokke was attached to a new boyfriend and the internet would go wild with speculation. Here’s your chance to meet Rickie Fowler, at least in a digital format. Rickie Fowler and Allison were attached in several publications, though it would be a while before they confirmed their relationship.
Rickie Fowler is a professional golfer who has been one of the top athletes in the sport for years. As a young and famous athlete, Fowler and Stokke had plenty in common! Fowler is also an Olympic athlete as he had qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Rickie is routinely ranked in the Top 10 when he competes in major competitions.
Fame Returns in a Big Way
Fowler would make the American Golf Team and this super-team would win the Ryder Cup together. On the green, Fowler would be the only member of his team without a romantic partner present. As the other couples embraced, Fowler shrugged and smiled at the camera — thus going viral for himself. Don’t worry Rickie, you won’t be alone for much longer!
Making it Official
Rickie and Allison would go public with their relationship, though not by choice. Jason Day, a teammate of Rickie Fowler, would reveal that Rickie had found a new girlfriend. Day revealed this information during a media scrum where Fowler’s absence had been noted. Day said that Fowler had been up to ‘boyfriend-y commitments.’
Not Just a Fling
While it would be totally normal for young, attractive, famous athletes like Fowler and Stokke to have a fling, this wasn’t the case. Instead, it immediately became clear that Rickie and Allison were really in it for the long haul. After their romance became public, they embraced the fame and decided to share their love in public.
Rickie’s Biggest Fan
Before long, Allison was becoming a regular during Rickie’s competitions. She would show up on the course in order to walk with Rickie during his games. Allison and Rickie clearly were not hiding their romance any longer. In fact, Allison had quickly become Rickie’s biggest cheerleader! Allison and Rickie have quickly won the hearts of golf fans all over the world.
Dealing with Coach
At the beginning of their relationship, Fowler’s coach had some harsh words for his student. Rickie’s coach had argued that Allison would be a distraction and that if Rickie didn’t approach the relationship right, his career could suffer. Rather than accepting the ultimatum, Rickie simply ignored his coach. We definitely think that Fowler made the right choice, don’t you?
Becoming a Golfer
While Stokke continued to train as a pole vaulter, she clearly was ready to try out other sports. Fowler and Stokke began to share images of Stokke learning to swing on Instagram. Was this one of their favorite date night festivities? It surely seemed like it! we wonder if Allison would have been an incredible golfer, had she focused on that instead of pole vaulting.
Standing Proud and Tall
Despite struggling with the fallout of fame as a child, Stokke managed to make it through the process relatively unscathed. Stokke saw her life change dramatically as a kid. Instead of letting it overwhelm her, she doubled-down on her skills and focused on becoming the best pole vaulting athlete possible.
Never Giving Up
Even though she came up short during her initial qualifying attempts for the Olympics, Stokke has not yet given up. Stokke continues to train with the intention of making it to the Olympics. Stokke doesn’t believe in quitting, and that is a lesson that just about anyone should take to heart!
Allison currently trains out of Phoenix with a new coach, considered to be one of the best Olympic coaches in the world. Stokke also maintains several high-profile social media accounts. Stokke has found a comfort level with her fame that some viral stars never get to feel. Fortunately for Stokke, she is made out of some tough stuff!
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