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Pole vaulter Allison Stokke unwittingly rocketed to fame in 2007, after a photo of her from a high school track meet appeared on a popular sports blog, then rapidly spread to various “hottest” female athlete sites on the internet.

Pole vaulter Allison Stokke

For Stokke, the viral image focused unwanted and lurid attention on her appearance, while her sporting accomplishments (2004 California state title, five national records, and athletic scholarship to Cal Berkeley) were largely overlooked.


As frustrating and demeaning as the experience was for Stokke, there was little she could legally do to stop the proliferation of her photos, and so she endured.

Doing the little things right makes the big things happen. A-skips with @onexwonder

A photo posted by Allison Stokke (@allisonstokke) on

Now, almost a decade later, Stokke has left the incident in her rearview mirror and in many ways has turned what was originally a negative into a positive. The Newport Beach native continues to train in pole vault, while simultaneously pursuing a career in sports modeling.


Stokke’s GoPro first-person perspective pole vaulting video from a year ago has amassed more than 6 million views. In the video she explains that despite there being a lot of things to think about in order execute a successful vault, she tries to keep it simple.

On Stokke’s Instagram page, she promotes The One X the Wonder, a visual platform celebrating female athletes and their journey to peak performance, and Altis, an elite athlete and coach training environment based in Phoenix, Arizona.

“A lot of the big decisions that you make in your life, I don't think there is necessarily a right or a wrong. The decision that you do make is the right one, because you chose to make it.”

— Allison Stokke, on choosing a path