Allison Stokke Career and Viral Photo Controversy

Imagine being 17 and suddenly thousands of people are talking about you online. That’s exactly what happened to pole vaulter Allison Stokke.

Thankfully, with the strong support of her family and friends, she managed to stay strong mentally.

Today, I’ll share Allison’s story, from the moment a photo of her went viral and nearly derailed her career, to how she handled the controversy. Join me to learn more about her journey.

Who is Allison Stokke?

Allison Rebecca Stokke Fowler is not just any athlete, she’s an American track and field star and a fitness model who made headlines by setting numerous records in pole vaulting, right from her high school to her college days.

Born on March 22, 1989, Allison has reached the age of 32 as of 2021.

She’s the daughter of Allan and Cindy Stokke and grew up with her brother, David, in sunny Newport Beach, California.

Allison Stokke’s Education

Allison Stokke’s path through education took her from the halls of Newport Harbor High School to the prestigious University of California-Berkeley.

There, she furthered her studies in Sociology, supported by an athletic scholarship that recognized her exceptional talents in track and field, especially in pole vaulting.

Allison Stokke’s Pole Vaulting Journey

Allison Stokke’s passion for pole vaulting sparked at a young age, growing up in a sports-loving family. Her brother, David Stokke, was a professional youth gymnast.

Although Allison initially tried gymnastics, she didn’t find her footing until she discovered pole vaulting.

It was in this sport that she truly excelled and chose to dedicate herself to developing her talent.

In 2004, as a freshman in high school, Allison made headlines by winning the US Championship for her age group (15/16), vaulting an impressive 3.86 meters (12 feet 8 inches) and breaking the school record.

This victory was just the start of her athletic journey.

By her sophomore year in 2005, Allison had already surpassed her previous record, reaching 4.11 meters (13 feet 5.75 inches).

However, her progress was temporarily halted when she suffered a broken ankle due to a misstep during practice.

The injury required her to take a six-month break from competition on her doctor’s advice.

Determined and resilient, Allison returned stronger in her senior year of high school.

Not only did she clinch the eighth spot at the national junior championships, but she also shattered her record again by vaulting 4.14 meters (13 feet 7 inches), securing her the title of California State Champion.

Allison Stokke’s impressive achievements in pole vaulting caught the attention of many, earning her an athletic scholarship to the University of California.

There, she joined the California Golden Bears team. In her sophomore year, she outdid herself by setting a new personal record of 4.21 meters (13 feet and 9.75 inches).

Stokke competed in two NCAA women’s division championships and achieved regional academic honors during the 2011 NCAA indoor championships.

She reached all-American status by securing eighth place at the NCAA indoor championship and also finished eighth at the PAC 10 championship.

Always driven, Allison aspired to compete in the Olympics. Her personal best and lifetime record came in 2012 when she vaulted 4.36 meters (14 feet 3.625 inches), aiming for Olympic participation.

Despite her efforts, Stokke fell short of the qualifying mark for the American Olympic team trials, unable to clear the 4.25 meters needed for qualification during the United States Olympic trials.

Over time, Allison Stokke saw a decline in her pole vaulting performance, leading her to retire from the sport.

She then shifted her focus to working as a sponsored athlete and model, collaborating with various brands.

Allison Stokke’s Pole Vaulting Highlights (2004-2017)

Allison Stokke’s pole vaulting career was marked by significant achievements, especially up until 2012, when she narrowly missed qualifying for the American Olympic team.

Following that, her performances saw ups and downs. Here’s a look at her year-by-year achievements:

  • 2004: Cleared 3.86 meters (12 feet and 8 inches).
  • 2005: Vaulted 4.11 meters (13 feet and 5.75 inches).
  • 2006: Reached 3.88 meters (12 feet and 8.75 inches).
  • 2007: Achieved 4.14 meters (13 feet and 7 inches).
  • 2008: Vaulted again 4.11 meters (13 feet and 5.75 inches).
  • 2009: Surpassed her previous records with 4.21 meters (13 feet and 9.75 inches).
  • 2010: Scaled 4.10 meters (13 feet and 5.375 inches).
  • 2011: Jumped 4.26 meters (13 feet and 11.75 inches), a personal best at the time.
  • 2012: Set her lifetime best at 4.36 meters (14 feet and 3.625 inches).
  • 2013: Cleared 4.20 meters (13 feet and 9.375 inches).
  • 2014: Achieved 3.95 meters (12 feet and 11.5 inches).
  • 2015: Vaulted 4.15 meters (13 feet and 7.375 inches).
  • 2016: Reached 4.16 meters (13 feet and 7.75 inches).
  • 2017: Set a new height at 4.27 meters (14 feet and 0.125 inches).

Despite the challenges, Allison Stokke’s journey in pole vaulting showcases her determination and skill, with her performance in 2017 marking a high point in her later career.

The Night Allison Stokke Went Viral

Back in 2007, when Allison Stokke was just 17 years old, she unexpectedly became famous online, not for her incredible skills in pole vaulting, but due to a photograph.

This particular image was first shared on a Californian track and field website and then picked up by a sports blog with a largely male audience, under the controversial caption “Pole Vaulting is Sexy, Barely Legal.”

The photo quickly went viral, spreading across almost every social media platform imaginable.

It caught the attention of major media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, BBC, and Der Spiegel, which all commented on the sensation.

Captured by a photographer in California, the photo was taken in New York City at a track event. It showed Allison in a moment of preparation, getting ready to compete.

This single photo catapulted Allison into a whirlwind of internet fame, with people around the globe retweeting and reposting the image.

Despite her young age, her name was on everyone’s lips, and she found herself the subject of numerous blog posts, articles, and even interviews requested by major publications like The LA Times and The Sydney Herald.

Allison Stokke found herself at the center of a global phenomenon at just 17 years old when a photo of her went viral.

Suddenly, her image was being shared, retweeted, and reposted by people around the world. Major publications, including The LA Times and The Sydney Herald, took notice, publishing stories about her and inviting her for interviews and photo shoots.

This unexpected spotlight showcased the power of the internet to catapult a young athlete into worldwide fame overnight.

Her viral picture also ruined her career. Whenever he goes out somewhere, photographers inappropriately take her pictures. Every man was pursuing her at such a young age.

The University of California said they couldn’t put her photo on their website’s athletics section. The first time they tried, they got tons of emails from men wanting her autograph.

But there was a silver lining to her sudden fame. Allison Stokke started getting deals to model sportswear for big brands.

Throughout it all, her parents were there for her, guiding her on how to deal with all the attention and choose the right partnerships as an independent athlete.

Allison Stokke’s Journey into Sportswear Modeling

Allison Stokke has made a name for herself in the world of sportswear modeling.

She has successfully partnered with and modeled for several top sportswear brands, including Nike, Athletica Athleisure in 2015, and Uniqlo in 2016.

Beyond modeling, Allison collaborated with GoPro for a YouTube vlog series, where she dives into the world of pole vaulting while showcasing the camera’s features. You can check out one of her GoPro videos to see her in action.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some of Allison Stokke’s achievements in pole vaulting?

Allison Stokke has broken several records from her high school days through to her college career at the University of California, Berkeley.

She won a US Championship for her age group as a freshman and continued to set personal bests throughout her career.

Did Allison Stokke compete in the Olympics?

Despite her aspirations and talent, Allison Stokke did not qualify for the Olympics. She aimed to participate but fell short of the qualifying standards during the trials.

What brands has Allison Stokke modeled for?

Allison Stokke has modeled for various sportswear brands, including Nike, Athletica Athleisure, and Uniqlo. She also collaborated with GoPro on a YouTube vlog series.

Is Allison Stokke still pole-vaulting?

As of my last update, Allison Stokke has stepped back from competitive pole vaulting and focuses on modeling and brand partnerships.

How does Allison Stokke view her viral fame in hindsight?

Allison Stokke has expressed that while the viral fame was overwhelming and not always positive, it opened up new opportunities in modeling and brand partnerships that she has since embraced.

Felix Colter
Felix Colter
I'm Felix Colter, an author with a focus on news and lifestyle. My expertise is drawn from deep study and experience, allowing me to deliver insightful content that keeps readers informed and engaged. My work blends current trends with practical advice, aiming to inspire and enrich the lives of my audience.

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