Allison Stokke is an American track and field athlete who has since gone on to do some modeling as well. Primarily, people will recognize her because she became an Internet phenomenon in 2007, which resulted in a fair amount of serious conversation on the sexualization of sportswomen as well as the sexualization of young women. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Allison Stokke:
1. Born in Newport Beach, CA
Stokke was born in a place called Newport Beach, CA. In short, Newport Beach is home to a number of notable locations, with examples ranging from Balboa Island to Newport Harbor. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising that the coastal city has been featured in a number of movies and TV shows.
2. Comes from a Sporting Family
Background-wise, Stokke came from a family with a lot of interest in sports. For proof, consider how her older brother David was a youth gymnast who competed on the national level.
3. Tried Out Gymnastics
It is interesting to note that Stokke gave gymnastics a try as well. Eventually, she eventually made the decision to switch over to pole vaulting when she was going to high school, which soon resulted in her becoming one of the best pole vaulters in her age group in the United States.
4. Very Dedicated to Pole Vaulting
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Stokke was very dedicated to pole vaulting even when she was still in high school. This can be seen in how she went on to win not once but twice at the CIF California State Meet even though she managed to break her leg when she was in school. Furthermore, this can be seen in how she managed to break records for both a high school freshman and a high school sophomore with a 3.86 meter vault in 2004 and a 4.11 meter vault in 2005.
5. Stokke’s Image Was Posted on the Internet in Early 2007
In early 2007, some photos of Stokke were posted to the Internet by a journalist who was covering her competitive efforts for a California track and field website. By May, the photos had been posted on a sports blog called With Leather under the title “Pole Vaulting is Sexy, Barely Legal,” which soon resulted in them spreading further because of the blog’s sizable male fanbase.
6. The Photographer Made an Attempt to Stop What Was Happening
The photographer who took the original photographs actually made an effort to prevent what was to come by threatening to sue the owner of With Leather unless the photos were taken down. Unfortunately, it was already too late by that point in time because the photos plus the accompanying article had been posted to dozens and dozens of other websites, thus resulting in even more interest in even more photos.
7. Stokke Made an Attempt to Handle Things On Her Own
Initially, Stokke made an attempt to handle her newfound fame on her own. However, she was bombarded with so many emails as well as requests for photo shoots that she was forced to seek out a media consultant to handle things for her.
8. Became More Cautious Because of the Whole Series of Events
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the whole series of events took a psychological toll on Stokke. She has stated that she found the leering to be “a little scary,” with the result that she started making sure to lock the doors behind her. On top of that, Stokke felt demeaned by what had happened because the deluge of online comments was very much focused on her appearance rather than, say, the pole vaulting that she put so much time and effort into.
9. One Example of a Broader Trend
Some of the conversion that surrounded the whole incident pointed out that while what happened to Stokke was unfortunate, it was far from being one of a kind. These commentators pointed out that other attractive female athletes have also had their public images framed in a sexualized manner to the detriment of their athletic accomplishments, with examples including both Alex Morgan and Hope Solo.
10. Engaged to Rickie Fowler
Nowadays, the intense interest in Stokke has faded to some extent. However, her name still shows up in the news from time to time. One example is how her relationship was professional golfer Rickie Fowler was reported in 2017, which has since resulted in an engagement in June of 2018.