Being an athlete means you get used to having cameras around documenting your every move. Especially if we’re talking about athletes who want to have long careers. Sports events are filled with cameras who are following them around while they are practicing, talking to their coach and getting prepped for the competition or game. Allison Stokke knew this was part of her dream to become a successful pole vaulter. She came to competitions like any other pole vaulter only she got a lot more attention than the other athletes. Allison was not aware that candid photos of her would turn to be a hit online, with many different people sharing them trying to know more and see more of her. She just wanted to focus on her sports career. The athlete turned into a celebrity of sorts with her every move being watched online. Time has passed since the photo circulated the web so the question is what is she doing today and how has her internet fame affected her and her career.
As Allison Stokke continued through her high school education, she ensured that her grades were kept high – but she also ensured that the pole vaulting bar was set high. With a dream of one day competing in the Olympics, Allison set herself new targets and soared to new heights. She wasn’t out partying and going crazy all the time like other high school students. A girl with eyes on the gold medals, that’s all that she could see.
In fact, she broke her own record once again and jumped 13 feet and 6 ¾ inches. Already breaking records at her age. Her name was getting around in the sporting world, and she was stoked. With this record, she became the second-best high school vaulter in America; an incredible feat. She knew she was going to make something of herself in this sport. It didn’t seem like somebody was going to stop her from getting there. She was focused and had a great pre-jum routine but someone was out there watching, waiting for the right time. This person was trying to play with her future and they would surely have an impact.
However, Allison’s life changed forever at one pole vaulting event in 2007. During this event, Stokke was minding her own business and getting herself prepared in between jumps when a photographer edged closer to her. She just continued with what she was doing, she was in the middle of the competition and wasn’t going to stop every photographer and ask him what he was doing. She assumed this guy was getting ready to photograph her big jump. She didn’t mind all other athletes were being photographed as well, but this one got a little closer and she wasn’t even jumping yet.
The photographer was snapping photos of the competitors during the jumps, but also as they prepared themselves for the next round. As part of his job, he innocently took one of Allison while she was waiting her turn. This didn’t seem too out of the ordinary, there are always behind the scene type photos taken at events. This was used to showcase all the athletes. The photographer kept snapping his lense at Allison. There was something about her, she looked great but this was about sports, not her appearance.
A dark place on the internet
Somehow, the photograph of the 17-year-old Allison in between jumps was reposted by a blog called With Leather. This blog is well-known for posting seedy content for a primarily all-male clientele with not so good intentions. She was only 17 years old. The photograph was accompanied by a headline and article which featured derogatory comments unrelated to her sporting ability. This was possibly the last place Allison could ever imagine her photo would end up on. She was the most focused athlete how could one candid photo ruin it all for her.
Who had done this? The photographer? He was just at a sporting event, but maybe he was part of this dark website an or even one of his co-workers with access to the photos just took it after seeing Allison. Although the photographer tried to reach out to the blog to remove the photo, his efforts were not successful, and Allison’s photograph was lost on the internet forever. Once it is up, it’s up. You can try to chase it down but people will do what they want with the internet.
An internet superstar
Before too long, the photograph had made the rounds on numerous other websites, and Allison’s name was strewn around the internet and tagged with different comments and names. As more and more people got hold of the photograph, one fan decided to set up a website for the pole vaulting star, and post even more photos of their so-called ‘internet crush.’ Everyone wanted to know who she was and what she was up to.
Again this is not the attention she wanted. Allison and the Stokke family were not impressed with the newfound attention, they hoped it would soon blow over so she could just get back to her regular athletic routine. However, their hopes were in vain. The internet is a whirlwind and a big mess, there is no possible way to stop people from posting and talking about certain topics. Allison Stokke was stirring a buzz online.
In a very short amount of time, Allison had become the talk of the country. She was often regarded as the ‘internet superstar’ and ‘pole vaulting crush’ of America – but it seems her fame also crossed the pond. Allison Stokke soon became a common name in the U.K and the rest of Europe, but she proved especially popular in Australia. Suddenly it seems everyone was interested in pole vaulting, a sport that is not like football or basketball, it is not the most popular in culture but her pictures were the talk of the day.
News stations and radio talk shows spoke about her on a global scale, and the Stokke family didn’t know how to deal with it. People seem to really like pretty athletic girls. She was out there doing amazing things but it didn’t even matter, all that matters was the way she looked and carried herself. Many people wish to have fame like this but for her, it just felt like a knock out to her career. She had to keep going.
Although Allison’s parents hoped that her daughter would one day adorn newspapers and be spoken about around the world – they hoped it would be her sporting talent, rather than her looks. Because of this, her newfound fame was taking its toll on the Stokke family. They knew most of the fans were men who seemed to be ogled at her photos and this made them uncomfortable. There was a slight fear this could actually hurt their daughter not only in the long run but also in reality.
It’s tricky this thing called ‘fame’. The family wished it for her but not like this, not because of her looks. It felt as if the media and the world were throwing away all of her achievements. What for? For being beautiful? That’s not how life works. To them, it was obvious that her beauty wouldn’t actually help her get far in life and they knew she had pole vaulting as a serious and comitted career ahead of her. The family stuck together and avoided the press.
Affecting her competition
As her fame grew, Allison grew increasingly uncomfortable with her place in the world. The photograph had caused rifts in her family, her mental health, and was even affecting her pole vaulting career. The sports star struggled to take part in competitions because she would always be joined by groups of fans all trying to get a glimpse of her in the flesh. This continued to spark stress to her and her family, they didn’t want people to get too close and hurt her.
She began to feel scared for her life and ensured she was locked-in her own house at all times and it was all because of one internet famed photo. The photo had gotten into some shady hands and it wasn’t too hard to locate her being competitions are usually a public event. Everyone can get in either for free or with a cheap ticket. All it would take was for one crazy individual to get a little too close to her, she had to keep her eye out and this messed with her head. From being so focused during practice and competitions to living in fear Allison continued but did it with eyes on her back.
A young talent
When Allison was just 15-years-old, she was not focused on boys or makeup. Instead, she was focused firmly on the track field, where she spent most of her time training to beat her own records. Amazingly, she did just that. That year, she beat her own personal best when she jumped a whopping 12 feet and 8 inches.
However, the young talent didn’t stop there. A year later, she beat her record once again by jumping 13 feet and 5 ¾ inches! She was sure to be a rising star and she never imagined that one photo would would take away from people paying attention to her talents. She worked so hard from a young age and success was all she was hoping for.
Trying to change the subject
Allison Stokke knew that she had no way to remove the photographs, the blogs or the websites, and she knew that making a fuss would not be the best way to deal with the situation. So, she decided to ignore the comments, and change the subject away from her physique.
Instead, she uploaded a YouTube video of her pole vaulting techniques and tips and tricks for the sport. However, the video didn’t have the intended effect.
Much to Allison’s dismay, her video was not viewed by budding young pole vaulters looking for tips. Although the video had more than 100,000 views within a couple of days, the majority of those who viewed the video were the same people who commented on her looks and her physique on the blogs and social media pages.
Allison was upset and irritated by the public, and couldn’t believe her efforts had failed. In fact, she even considered giving up the sport.
After the release of her pole vaulting video, Allison’s fame soared to new heights – but not for the right reasons. Before too long, her father, Allan Stokke, stepped in to offer his own advice on the matter. As a lawyer, he was up to date with the latest laws and restrictions in regards to social media.
Although the initial photograph was already cemented into the internet, he did have the ability to restrict and monitor new comments that were making the rounds.
More determined than ever
As more and more websites, fan pages and social media pages popped up, Allison became increasingly upset about her portrayal to the outside world. All she had ever wanted was to become known for her incredible pole vaulting ability, and it had since been overshadowed by her outward appearance.
Although she was saddened to see what had happened, she knew she had no other option but to move away from the comments and move on with her life.
The next step
As she tried to move on from the derogatory comments surrounding her physique, Allison Stokke decided to take the next step in her career. After she graduated from college, she was awarded a full sports scholarship to a college close to home.
Here, she studied for her classes and continued to perfect her pole vaulting talent, and she also ran track. As she broke even more records, Allison made a life-changing decision to try out for the Olympics…
It is not unsual that Allison Stokke succeeded in college and graduated with impressive grades and sporting accolades. However, she knew that to truly succeed she would have to leave her old life behind her and focus on what was really important.
So, Allison forgot about the photographs and the websites and focused on training every single day in the hope that she could grab herself a spot on the Olympic team in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
An unfortunate event
After years of training, the day finally came: the Olympic trials. Although Allison was nervous, she was excited about the prospect of competing for her country and working towards a gold medal. Although she felt prepared and ready, she unfortunately didn’t qualify.
Alongside 12 other competitors on the day, Allison failed to clear the 14-foot bar. Allison was naturally upset with the result and thought her sporting career to be over. However, she has since risen from the ashes.
The start- all about sports
We can’t know Allison Stokke’s story without knowing her past. From an early age, Stokke proved to everyone around her that she was a force to be reckoned with. As a freshman at high school in 2004, she was dominating the pole vaulting competitions and wowing her competitors with her talent. This is a tough sport but she seemed to be taking it by storm. This was her passion and what she was going to pursue in her future.
At the time, she had her sights firmly set on success in the sporting world, but she had no idea that one picture that became famous would almost ruin everything for her. Maybe she was innocent to the fact that her career could catapult for the wrong reasons. When she pictured fame and success it was winning medals not because of her personal life. This was not a scenario that went into her mind during competitions, it’s all about sport.
A natural beauty
Naturally, the Stokke family was incredibly proud and impressed with Allison’s pole vaulting achievements. They were also overwhelmed by her natural drive and passion for the sport and her path to success. Her parents were amazed at how their little girl was blossoming into natural beauty and lovable young woman. She had grown up right before their very eyes and was on her independent path to success.
They also set out to believe that people’s intention in interest in Allison was based solely on her talent, but no one could deny that she was a striking young lady who also was a good athlete. Of course like any other supporting family, the Stokke’s knew their daughter would go far in the world of sport, they had no idea it wouldn’t be her sporting ability that would get her there.
Embracing her beauty
Despite her unfortunate failure at the Olympic trials, Allison Stokke was not ready to give up her dream of being famous. Since 2007, Allison had been rejecting the comments about her appearance but had finally decided to embrace her beauty.
However, she was going to do it in her own way. Allison decided to finally accept some of the many offers she had received to model sports clothing for major brands. She eventually chose to work for Nike and Athletica.
Now that she has taken a positive turn in her life, Allison has been able to look back on her former years and dissect the events of her past. Despite the pain that came with the unwelcome attention, she realizes that at the time, there were numerous other pole vaulters in her age category who were even more talented than she was.
However, because of her looks and the photograph, she was given unfair attention. Nevertheless, she has still suffered in its hands…
Turning down offers
Throughout her life, Allison has been offered numerous chances to be the cover girl of magazines, sports brands, and marketing campaigns. She was even offered the chance to appear on television. However, Allison made the decision to reject these offers – as she knew they weren’t offering her these chances because of her sporting talent.
Instead, she was offered them because of her looks, and she wasn’t going to give in to their ideals. She wanted her talent to be recognized instead.
Growing up fast
As Allison’s family look back on her career, they have often noted the change in their daughter. Rather than succumbing to the pressures of fame and fortune, Allison decided that she would learn and grow from the experience.
Throughout her experiences with the photos, websites, social media pages and job offers, she noticed how the world could be incredibly unkind – and realized that she shouldn’t bother herself about what other people think of her. All she cares about is her pole vaulting.
A new love
However, it seems as if pole vaulting isn’t the only love in Allison Stokke’s life right now. After her turbulent past, Allison found herself in the papers once more, after a trip to the Motocross Grand Prix.
Rather than commenting on her looks or her physique, the headlines noted that Allison had been spotted getting pretty cozy with a new man. Although Allison maintained that they were ‘just friends,’ their friendship was soon taken to the next level…
An age difference
Despite her early struggles, Allison Stokke had finally found someone who loved her for her personality, her drive and her talent – rather than her looks and outward appearance. The man in question was the 28-year-old Rickie Fowler.
Although fans of Allison were at first taken aback by the age difference between the couple, they couldn’t deny that they were perfect for each other, and they couldn’t deny that Rickie was a hugely talented sportsman in his own right.
Two sports stars
Considering the world of sport is so vast, it’s no wonder that Allison found her love within another major sports star. However, their sports were very different. While Allison dominated the world of pole vaulting, Rickie Fowler was a major name in the world of golf.
As a professional golfer, Fowler has won numerous accolades over the course of his career and has even played in the Olympic Games. Nevertheless, Rickie’s love story also started with his very own moment that also circulated the web and got some fame.
Just like her
The picture first appeared on our screens in 2016, after Rickie and his American team won the Ryder Cup. As the first American win in eight years, the team were overwhelmed with joy and wanted to share that with their loved ones.
So, as the celebrations ensued, the other players kissed and hugged their significant others, while Rickie stood on his own and shrugged towards the camera. The photograph soon became an internet sensation and made its rounds on social media.
On the sidelines
As Allison tried to shy away from the cameras and the comments about her appearance, she found solace in Rickie and his golfing career. Standing at the sidelines, Allison would watch all of his major competitions and tournaments and cheer him on.
Fans of Rickie soon realized that Allison would be there at every major event – so it’s a good thing they approved of her! However, Allison was also there to hold his hands during some major life decisions…
Making some big decisions
Thanks to their newfound romance, Allison and Rickie had become a famous couple, and everyone wanted to follow their love life on social media. The couple gave in to their fans demands and provided them with up close and personal photos of their life together..
However, Rickie’s coach wasn’t happy. He made it clear that Rickie was spending too much time on his social media presence rather than his career, and Allison was there to bring him back down to earth
A new hobby
To get her boyfriend’s mind back on track. Allison has decided to pick up a new hobby. Yep, the pole vaulter has ditched her pole and picked up a golf club. It’s believed that the pair often spends their time playing golf, rather than sitting inside and watching television.
After all, a bit of healthy competition never hurt anybody. Although it’s clear to see that Allison has helped Rickie focus, many believe he has helped her in return.
Her past self
Since finding love with Rickie, Allison has been able to look back on her past and understand it a little more. She now realizes that she cannot let her past actions and experiences dictate her future career path and her personal life.
She is now able to separate herself from the famous photograph, and move on as a completely different person. Sometime she may choose to associate with it, but she also has the ability to separate herself from her past.
Onwards and upwards
With a new love in her life, a newfound sense of achievement, a new sense of self and new business ventures, Allison Stokke has been able to disassociate herself from the infamous photograph that made her a well-known face.
Although she realizes that the photograph thrust her into the spotlight, she would have rather her talent do the same thing. Nevertheless, she cannot change the past and is now focusing on moving onwards and upwards in her sport and her personal life.
She isn’t alone
Although what happened to Allison Stokke is not the way she wanted to rise to fame, she isn’t the only pole vaulter who has suffered at the hands of the media. Ever since Allison broke the internet with the notorious photograph, many other female pole vaulters have been branded with the same stick.
In fact, an open list entitled ‘The Hottest Women Pole Vaulters of the 2016 Rio Olympics’ was posted after the 2016 Olympic Games, and brought many other women to our attention.
Credit where credit is due
Although these lists publicly demean the female pole vaulters and their athletic abilities, there are many people who believe the lists aren’t all bad. Before the Allison Stokke incident, very few people knew about female pole vaulters and the sport in general.
Thanks to these lists, these women are given credit where credit is due. Amazingly, many people now define these women as ‘fearless’ in their abilities and their strength, and thank Allison Stokke for this new exposure.
New business venture
To help bring the sport of pole vaulting into the public eye even more, Allison Stokke decided to team up with a major company for a new business venture. Indeed, Allison joined forces with GoPro and their impressive cameras to show the sport for what it really is, up close and personal.
For this, the versatile cameras were placed at various points on the pole vaulting pole, and other areas, to get slow-motion shots of Allison as she flew through the air.
A fitness collection
However, that isn’t the only venture Allison has put her talents to. In 2016, Allison took part in a marketing campaign for the new Uniqlo fitness collection. In this campaign, Allison could be seen running along the beach in her fitness gear, showing off her impressive athletic physique and her natural beauty.
Since then, Allison has not appeared in any other modeling jobs or advertising campaigns, but we think it’s only a matter of time before she’s in the limelight once more…
We’ve already seen that Allison Stokke seems to be practicing her swing, in support of her new beau. However, could she be going one step further? A quick look at her recent Instagram photos shows plenty of shots of the pole vaulter golfing in various places around the world.
This most recent photo, in August 2017, shows the athlete at Liberty National Golf Course in New York City – decked out in all the proper golfing gear. We wonder if she’s any good?
Allison Stokke’s Instagram page is filled with pictures of her and Rickie Fowler, just hanging around and having fun. This picture, posted on 1st November 2017, shows the pair all dressed up for Halloween.
While it’s quite clear that Allison is a unicorn, we’re not entirely sure what her other half is supposed to be… A stick man, maybe? The pair’s Instagram posts receive tens of thousands of likes, proving their fame isn’t going away anytime soon.
Hero World Challenge
Every December, Tiger Woods hosts a golf tournament called Hero World Challenge, which Rickie Fowler actually managed to win in 2017!
Despite trailing behind at the beginning, the golf star managed to turn it around to secure the win and get his hands on this rather impressive trophy! As usual, his supportive girlfriend, Allison Stokke, was by his side as he claimed his prize, and wrote a gushing Instagram post in his honor. We think they’re an adorable couple!
Pole Vault Summit
In January 2018, Allison Stokke proved that she hadn’t left her pole vaulting days behind her amidst all of her Instagram fame and new found love for golf. Posting a little video of a huge jump she completed at the event on January 14, Stokke reminded her fans why she was deserving of so much attention in the first place.
That video has been watched nearly 200,000 times already, with commenters praising her form and technique. She’s still got it!