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Michelle Jenneke’s Warm Up Dance is a video clip of the 19-year-old Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke performing her routine warm-up exercise before the 110-meter hurdles race at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain. The YouTube video spread rapidly after a link was shared on Reddit, where people began to take note of Jenneke’s sex appeal.
On July 15th, 2012, Michelle Jenneke, a hurdler from Kenthurst, New South Wales, Australia, ran in the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships 110-meter hurdles event. Before the race began, Jenneke was filmed performing her routine warm-up exercise by jumping up and down and shimmying her legs while smiling (shown below). After the race commenced, Jenneke finished in first place.
The warm-up dance was subsequently set to the Italian singer Sabrina Salerno’s 1987 single “Boys” and uploaded to Vimeo by the Dutch sports news site Losse Veter the same day (shown above). Several copies of the video were reuploaded to YouTube, with one mirror receiving more than 21.4 million views in the next seven months.
Three days later on July 18th, UpRoxx’s sports blog With Leather shared the original footage of Jenneke’s pre-race dance but it was quickly taken down and replaced with a slow motion edition set to Salerno’s “Boys.” From there, the video was highlighted on several sports news blogs, including Bleacher Report, Huffington Post Sports and Cosbys Sweaters. Later that same day, Redditor ccomeau submitted a post titled “Australia’s Michelle Jennekes is one sexy hurdler,” which amassed more than 25,000 upvotes and 3,250 comments within the first 96 hours.
Comparison to Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
Michelle Jenneke’s effortless and confident body gestures quickly became likened to the charm of Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, an online nickname given to the 25-year-old marathon runner Zeddie Little who became an internet celebrity in April 2012 after a picture of him in the mid-race was posted onto Reddit. Soon, a side-by-side comparison image of Zeddie Little and Michelle Jenneke (shown below, left) as well as a photoshop hybrid of the two faces (shown below, right) emerged in the comments of Redditor ccomeau’s post.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
On February 11th, 2013, CNN released its annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which included several bikini-clad photos of Jenneke (shown below). The Australian hurdler was selected by Sports Illustrated editor M.J. Day for a pictorial titled “The Viral Athlete.”
The same day, YouTuber loser11man uploaded a video featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the photoshoot (shown below). Within 72 hours, the video received over 380,000 views and 300 comments. On February 14th, The Daily Dot published an article about the photo spread, labeling Jenneke as “an international sex symbol.”
The majority of the conversations on Reddit were largely dominated by male Redditors’ expressing their infatuation with the Australian athlete or sharing suggestive GIF images of Jenneke’s performing her warm-up exercise. Meanwhile, others began shifting the spotlight onto background subjects standing behind the hurdler, including the poker-faced security guard and the female assistant.
Forever Alone Video
On December 13th, 2012, the Internet humor site The Chive posted a video in which a forever alone man fantasizes about spending time with Jenneke (shown below). Within two months, the video accumulated over 8.9 million views and 4,800 comments.
Coby Sweaters – Michelle Jenneke’s Pre-Race Routine Is Delightfully Sensual