Allison Stokke wasn’t exactly like other high school students when she rose to fame. The American born women, who currently is 29 years old, started her athletic career when she attended Newport Harbor High School in California. Originally, Stokke was a part of her high school’s track and field team when she first became interested in pole vaulting. While this may seem simple enough, her name started to reach headlines when she was recorded and photographed by a journalist in 2007, while she was competing in New York track and field competition.
These photos were then taken from the original article and reposted by a man who ran an online blog about athletics that had an extremely large fan base. Since then, Stokke has become a well-known name in the track and field and fitness world, thus leading to her success as a fitness model before she started school at the University of California, Berkeley.
Track and Field
As the name suggests, track and field is an outdoors sport that usually takes place in a stadium on its running track which encloses a grass field (which is where the jumping events take place). However, track and field is more than the participants running to see who is the fastest. This sport also includes a multitude of jumping and throwing athletic events and contests as well. It is important to note that track and field is just an umbrella term, the other athletic events that are included in track and field are: cross country, road running, and race walking. One of the reasons why so many fans are attracted to track and field is because it is an individual sport where only athletic is deemed the winner, which leads to the sport being more competitive than others.
The foot racing events include a mixture of middle and long-distance running, race walking, sprinting, and hurdling, who all are won by whichever participant is the fastest in the competition. Out of all the events that are under track and field, foot races are the oldest seeing how they were around in ancient Greek. Though, out of all the previously mentioned foot racing events, sprinting is the most popular form that is known globally. Sprinting is also an Olympics and Outdoor World Championships event. The most popular forms of sprinting are the 100 meter, 200 meters, and 400 meters races due to the highly competitive atmosphere surrounding the event.
These two events are commonly combined due to the winner being decided by whichever athlete achieves the greatest distance or height in the competition. The jumping events include long jump, triple jump, high jump, and the pole vault, which is what Allison Stokke is known for. Moreover, the jumping events can also include other elements of track and field, making it one of the more physically challenging aspects of the sport.
The use of poles in the pole vault was first recorded Fierljeppen contests in the Frisian area, a coastal region of the Netherlands. It soon made its way to Germany in the 1770’s when gymnasts incorporated poles into their routines. However, it will not be until 1843 in England where the first pole vaulting contests were being held. The rules were simple: athletes were not allowed to move their hands along the pole and that they had to clear the bar feet first while twisting, so their stomach faces the bad mid-jump.
While the rules of the sport have not changed over the years, the way, the sport is competed in has. For starters, athletics are provided a landing mattress to break their fall when they are jumping at higher heights; the athletes are also given a longer strip of track to run on before making their jump.
To put it simply, pole vaulting is one of the more rigorous and gymnastic-like events in track and field. It requires the participants to be extremely precise in their movements while also having an incredible amount of strength to lunge themselves, with the help of a pole, over a bar set at a designated height. No wonder why pole vaulting was introduced to the Olympics in 2000.