Michelle Jenneke: From ‘Dancing Hurdler’ to SI Swimsuit Model


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Up until last year, I really wasn’t aware of the World Junior Championships in Athletics. Maybe I had heard about it, but I’d be lying if I definitely had. However, that all changed when a 19-year-old hurdler from Australia took to the field.

Even though Michelle Jenneke won a gold medal for her race in Barcelona, we’ll all remember her for what she did before the race. By now, most of us have seen her pre-dance ritual. The one where the smiling Aussie sways her hips, hair swinging in carefree manner, all while in a little itty bitty tracksuit. It’s no surprise that the clip went viral and made Jenneke an overnight sensation.

Since then, the track star has been seen on The Tonight Show, starred in a parody of her ritual for theCHIVE.com and has even been listed at the 10th spot in AskMen’s Top 99 Women of 2013. But now comes one of her biggest career bumps. She’s featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Sure. Kate Upton may be getting all the attention since she’s on the cover for the second consecutive year, and suffered frostbite for idiotically wearing a bikini in Antarctica, we totally feel that the charming and bubbly Michelle Jenneke is going to steal the show for this year’s edition.

Michelle Jenneke, who happens to also be the reigning national under-20 100m hurdles champion, will be competing in the Qantas Australian Athletics Tour meets at the Sydney Track Classic on March 9 and the Melbourne World Challenge on April 6.

As for the SI Swimsuit Issue, Kate Upton and other models are doing a ton or promotion, including several Google Hangouts. The next Hangout will be on Valentine’s Day (6 p.m. ET, Feb. 14). Kate Upton will be joined by another debuting SI Swimsuit model, Katherine Webb, live from Las Vegas.

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