Even if you’re not a fan of athletics or anything sports related, chances are you must have heard about Aussie hurdler Michelle Jenneke from that 2012 energetic warm-up video that went viral. The video racked up almost 20 million views a week after it hit the internet and was even featured on the late-night talk show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Since then, the media have been on alert for what next would come from the Aussie athlete. So, who exactly is Michelle Jenneke? Here are all the things you need to know about her.
Who is Michelle Jenneke?
Michelle Jenneke is an Australian hurdler and model. Born on 23 June 1993, in Kenthurst, New South Wales, Australia, Jeneke became interested in sports as a kid. She schooled at The Hills Grammar School. Her sports interests included soccer and handball, however, from 10 years old, she began training as a hurdler with coach Mick Zisti and soon, she started entering competitions.
At the 2008 Pacific School Games in Canberra, Jenneke competed in the 90 metres and 200 metres hurdles. She began to gain recognition in 2010 during the Singapore Youth Olympic Games. Before the games, she broke the Australian record for the 100 metres women’s sprint medley relay during the Australian Junior Championships.
Shelly, as she is nicknamed, impressed during the 89th Australian Athletics Championships in April 2011 when she finished second place behind World Champion Sally Pearson in the 100 metres hurdles.
Michelle Jenneke may have finished 5th in the 100 metres hurdles at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Barcelona but she was propelled to worldwide prominence as a result of her warm-up routine right before the race. A clip of the routine where she jumps up while swaying her hips from side to side broke the internet. As a result, Jenneke began to receive a lot of media attention and earned the nickname Jiggling Jenneke.
Photo-entertainment website, The Chive then featured her in a short comic video titled Forever Alone Meets Michelle Jenneke where she played a part that referenced her pre-race viral warm-up video.
Jenneke has since revealed a lot about the dance, saying she started it when she was 16 years old as a way of getting rid of jitters and anxiety before the race begins. Jenneke has also pointed out that she never did the moves to gain media attention. Nevertheless, the viral video opened the floodgates of endorsement deals and media gigs. She earned a feature on Sports Illustrated 2013 issue and was ranked 10th of AskMen’s ranking of 99 Most Desirable Women.
Jenneke turned down the offer to appear on the jungle reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! but on the athletic side of things, Jenneke continued to forge ahead. At the Australian National Championship in April 2016, she won the 100 metres hurdles to book a spot in the Australian team to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Shelly generated much media buzz prior to the Olympics due to the fact that Coca-Cola had selected her to be part of their global Rio Olympic campaign. Her face was plastered on giant billboards on the streets of Brazil. The gig also included a commercial video filmed in Barcelona where Jenneke performed her famous warm-up dance.
Unfortunately, Jenneke’s performance at the Olympics was disappointing. She didn’t get past the heat, finishing at 6th place. Consequently, she received much backlash, especially from Australian head coach Craig Hilliard who noted that she arrived Rio looking out-of-shape.
Jenneke who took the criticisms lightly later revealed that her lackluster performance was due to a leg injury she sustained during training. Post-Rio, her $8,000 funding from the Australian government was cut, however, Jenneke remained undeterred. She worked hard enough to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 where she finished 4th in the 100 m hurdles.
Jenneke’s Rio flop has done little or nothing to deter endorsement partners. Going into the Commonwealth Games, she signed a deal to repp Blistex lip balm as their brand ambassador. She also had Puma supply her kit.
Michelle Jenneke has been splitting her time between becoming an athlete and studying for a degree in mechatronics (a combination of mechanical and electric engineering) at Sydney University.
Michelle Jenneke is one of those private ones. Despite requests from fans, she has never commented on her romantic life and she has not been spotted out with anyone. Thus, chances are that she is single. Fingers crossed that she gets to tell the world when she does find her special someone. In April 2018, word got out that she was being considered for a spot in the reality TV show, The Bachelorette.
Height, Body Measurements
Every athlete’s body measurement has some degree of effect on their performance and Jenneke makes sure to stay fit by integrating the right diet with exercise.
In her interview with Body and Soul in 2018, Jenneke reveals that she has to eat about 6 times a day and exercise 5 times a week. Her weekly routine includes 3 track sessions and 2 gym sessions. All these, Jenneke does in order to keep fit and of course, maintain her 147 lbs body weight. She stands at 5 feet 8 inches tall. Her banana-shaped body measures 36-26-36 (inches).