Last winter, not many people knew who Michelle Jenneke was. This year people may not necessarily recognize the name, but if you direct their attention to this video or simply say the "Australian hurdler who dances," they'll have a pretty good idea who you're talking about.
Jenneke's warm-up dance brought her viral status on YouTube and so much Internet fame that viewers rarely care about what happens after the pre-race jig. She's had an impressive career as a young hurdler, reaching the podium in a few Australian Junior events and other various medals on the International level. She placed fifth in the 100-meter Hurdles at the 2012 World Junior Championships, which is when the video started becoming popular online.
For Jenneke though, her hurdling prowess might not be her ticket to fame and success. This week she graces the pages of the newest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue as one of the four athletes who participated.
Jenneke's stunning pictures may not be as popular as her video yet, but in time they may be. Jenneke is a talented hurdler and will most likely continue running for Australia, but her bubbly video and beautiful images will open a lot of doors for her off the track.
Instead of just being a hurdler, Jenneke could very easily become a model and improve her overall fanbase. If more fans want to see her race, even if it's just for her pre-race dance, she'll have a few extra opportunities to participate in races and events, which will make her even more famous than she already is.
The SI photos will do nothing but add to her already squeaky clean, cute, girl next door image, which can do wonders for her future possibilities, whether they be running, modeling or being the focus of other viral pre-race videos.