It's been almost three years since the Internet discovered Michelle Jenneke. Then an 18-year-old Australian with a peculiar warm-up, she became the most famous fifth-place junior hurdler ever.
But now 21 and outside the tide pool of the U-19 ranks, Jenneke has not yet proven to be great at her event. In 2015, one of the odd years between Olympics that hosts a world championship, Jenneke isn't even a lock to make it out of her country. To date, the fastest she's run the 100-meter hurdles is close to a full second off of 2014's world best, and at the 2014 Australian Athletics Championships she was a distant third behind her country's top athlete.
And yet none of that really matters to the Internet, does it? World Star Hip Hop, a website best known for posting viewer-submitted street fights, flew its brain trust to Australia to leer at Jenneke and film the above video, which has the sole purpose of providing soft-core fapping material to World of Warcraft players. It shows little of Jenneke in her sport and none of her competing.
But as Jenneke's popularity has grown, so has her speed. Unlike Lolo Jones, another track star whose beauty has often taken prominence over her athleticism, Jenneke is getting faster every year. While Lolo is on the decline, Jenneke is still early in her ascent.
Maybe 2015 will Jenneke's year in video rather than on the track, and she'll merely take the next incremental step of speed while watching the Beijing World Championships from home. But Jenneke only has a few more steps to take, and come 2016, when Australia selects its Olympic team, she'll be hard to overlook for more than just her videos. That's a reality you can't dance away from.
Photo: Erik van Leeuwen/Wikimedia Commons