Michelle Jenneke first gained fame four years ago thanks to a viral video, and now the Australian hurdler is back in the spotlight after sharing a set of photos showing off her training routine leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
As she gets ready to represent her country in the 100-meter hurdles, Jenneke took some time out to share with fans a bit of her last-minute training in Florida. Jenneke posted a series of photos that showed off her tight abs in her Olympics uniform as she and the other athletes finished up their final regimen..
“First week of training in Florida done and dusted and only 3 more days till I leave for Rio!!,” she wrote.
Other shots showed Jenneke’s final training regimen before leaving Florida to arrive in Rio on Wednesday.
Michelle Jenneke is pretty familiar with viral fame. It was a YouTube video of the Australian hurdler’s pre-race dance routine that first shot her to fame in 2012, leading to an appearance in the Sports IllustratedSwimsuit Issue.
For Jenneke, the attention all seemed a bit surreal.
“I was absolutely amazed when I found out Sports Illustrated wanted to shoot me,” she said, later adding, “I looked at the pictures and I think, wow, is that really me?”
Jenneke seems anxious to compete in her first Olympics, showing just how far she’s come in her athletic career. Michelle’s mother, Nicky, told News.com.au that the world-class hurdler never saw herself as much of a serious athlete, even as she was rising to the top of her sport.
“Shelly was never one of those kids who dreamt of going to the Olympics,” says Nicky. “Athletics has always been her fun thing. She’s never been — and I put quotes around this — a ‘serious’ athlete. Athletics has always been something that she does, it’s not who she is.”
“I remember the president of Cherrybrook Little Athletics told her when she was about 11 that she was showing a lot of promise and they talked about the Olympics. She told him: ‘No, I don’t think I’d like to go to the Olympics.’ And he said … ‘And if they ask you to go …?’ She said: ‘I’d probably say ‘No, thank you. ‘ ”
She is now one of the biggest names in track and field, even before she’s touched the track for her first Olympic competition, and fans in Rio have already seen plenty of Michelle Jenneke, even before she and the rest of the Australian track and field team arrive for the competition. Jenneke has been featured in billboards for Coca-Cola, part of a promotional campaign shot in Spain.
Jenneke has always taken a laid-back approach to her viral fame. Though the YouTube video that first shot her to fame gained tens of millions of views in just a short time, leading to interviews across the world and even an appearance with Jay Leno, Michelle said she never intended to get famous, her mother noted.
“She was laughing, she thought it was hysterical people had any interest,” Nicky told News.com.au about the dance that made Michelle famous. “She’d been doing it for a few years before that so for us it wasn’t anything new. We were amused and I think we are still amused.”
She may not go out seeking attention, but Michelle Jenneke certainly doesn’t seem to mind it, either. She has kept her social media filled with a steady stream of photos from her training and competitions, with her thousands of fans leaving plenty of encouraging messages, as well as the occasional marriage proposal.
Michelle Jenneke’s latest photo showing off her abs garnered the question from a hopeful fan, “Marry me?” Jenneke has not yet answered.
[Image via Instagram]