Who Is Michelle Jenneke, The Beautiful Dancing Hurdler?

A handy FAQ! See our GIFs for a primer.

Michelle, uh… I’m sorry?

Michelle Jenneke. She’s a hurdler from Australia. She isn’t going to the Olympics, but she’s become incredibly famous this week because of the video, above.

Oh. She’s really pretty.

Yep! And you know how the Internet feels about beautiful women. I mean, it’s cool, like, we all objectify gorgeous people we only know through the web, but I think WorldStar calling her “The Olympic Dime of the Week” gets the gist across. She’s not even an Olympian, and presumably, she’ll still exist beyond this week.

I’m a little confused, though: there are plenty of beautiful people on the Internet. Why is she getting so huge?

Well, first off, thanks to her pre-race routine, which involves her dancing adorably, jumping up and down, and generally being charismatic and amusing. Second, she destroys her opponents in the race part of the race, which is always important. Third, she’s very GIF’able.

If everyone’s already talked about her, though, why this extra post?

Because all the “Meet Michelle Jenneke” stories I’ve seen have been slideshows of her, and that’s basically it. Presumably, there’s more to Michelle Jenneke than these GIFs and pictures. SHE’S A HUMAN BEING. Also, she’s fast as hell, right? Who is she?

Who is she! I don’t know. Tell me!

OK, OK. Michelle “Shelly” Jenneke is a 19-year-old from New South Wales, Australia, where she trained from the age of 10 on at the Cherrybrook Athletics Club. Photos of her are all over the website, and she owns a bunch of the club’s girls hurdling records. She was a part of Australia’s delegation at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games, running the 100 meter hurdles and the women’s medley relay; in the hurdles, she came in 2nd, and the medley relay team came in 4th.

According to her page on the Australian Youth Olympics Team’s website, in her free time Shelly will “ride a quad bike, hang out with friends, play games - anything fun.”

Q: What did she dress up as for Halloween? A: Wonder Woman, if her Facebook profile is any indication.

So what’s the deal with that dance thing?

Apparently she is “one of the most bubbly athletes on the Australian Youth Olympics Team on a normal day.” Going into the 2012 Barcelona World Junior Championships, she was one of Australia’s best hopes for a medal, and she didn’t disappoint, taking the gold.

Think she’d be my friend?

You’re on your own with that one, bud. But I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of Shelly Jenneke.

Matt King / Getty Images

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