Which member of the Canada team at the Tokyo Olympics is the most followed on Instagram?
Posted at 5:00 am
Note: it’s not Penny Oleksiak (142,000 subscribers). Also Andre De Grasse (373,000). Neither Félix Auger-Aliassime (460,000) nor Leylah Annie Fernandez (333,000).
Rather, it’s Alysha Newman, a pole vault specialist, who experienced disappointment in the Japanese capital. The London athlete missed all three attempts at 4.25m before breaking down in tears in front of CBC cameras.
Two years earlier, the Canadian record holder (4.82m) had finished fifth at the World Championships in one of the toughest finals in women’s pole vault history.
After the year marred by the pandemic, Newman suffered a concussion just months before the Olympics were postponed to 2021. During the entire outdoor season, she only crossed one bar at 4.31 m.
“I can honestly say I came back from hell this year,” she wrote ahead of the start of her second Olympics on her Instagram account, now followed by 607,000 people.
During the broadcast of his ordeal, CBC analyst Michael Smith wondered if Newman was focusing on the right things in an Olympic year. Apparently, the ex-decathlete was referring to his activities off the pitch.
The previous year, Newman had participated in a social media advertising campaign alongside three other world-class athletes. The Commonwealth Games gold medalist appeared in lingerie on a competition field, pole in hand.
“As a woman and an athlete, I have been breaking down barriers all my life and in this campaign […] allowed me to show another side of the beauty of being a woman! ‘ she wrote on Instagram.
Her Olympic teammate Sage Watson responded on the same platform two days later, saying she was “heartbroken” by this campaign, which “zoomed in on women’s buttocks and breasts during training”. The 400m hurdles specialist added that she was “sexually harassed for months” after her 400m hurdles semi-final in Rio after a camera was pointed at her buttocks.
In an article published a year later in the Toronto StarNewman explained that she wasn’t “comfortable with it [son] Body” early in his career. “There’s so much more aura and light around me because I’m learning to love my body,” the Marylin Monroe fan told the Toronto Daily.
After his failure in Tokyo, Newman needed six months before he could return to training. “At some point I forgot the names of animals,” she confided during her visit to the Montreal Athletics Classic last Sunday. “I had to relearn those names and now wear tinted contacts. I have everything that will help me get back to normal. I’m starting to feel like myself again. »
On his doctor’s recommendation, Newman resumed training in the heptathlon. She believes this new discipline will bring her back to her best level in pole vaulting.” [son] bread and [son] Butter “.
On May 21, Newman surmounted 15 feet (4.61 m) with a shortened seven-stride approach, a first notable bar in 13 months for the at 16e place in the all-time charts.
The competition in Montreal did not go according to her wishes. After a first beam at 4.35 m, she threw in the towel in her three attempts at 4.50 m. His goal was to clear 4.70 m, the standard for the Eugene World Championships. She regretted the long delay before her event began, officials wanted to “remove.” [ses] traces” on the floor and the modest audience too calm for his taste.
“I felt like people were just relaxed,” she said as she waited for her Uber to speed to the airport. “I wanted a little more energy for today and I didn’t get it. »
building a brand
Newman answered a few questions about his outstanding social media appeal.
“I know some athletes don’t want to, others can. It’s important for me to build a brand because I want more out of my life after athletics. »
Athletics is a very important step in my life. I want to open doors to help people. If I have a brand, I can help the community, increase my income, eventually build infrastructure and do other things for other people.
The 27-year-old doesn’t see herself as “so much an influencer”. “It’s not like I’m there every day posting, ‘You should buy this or eat this or do this. I see myself more as a motivator. I want people to feel like they can do whatever they want. »
She recently published an ad promoting a sports betting site.
Newman says he doesn’t heed criticism. Her off-track activities don’t harm her sport, she emphasizes, but complement it.
“It definitely makes me a more accomplished person. […] I have fashion and models that allow me to express my personality and my sexuality. »
The pole vaulter sees herself more as a “businesswoman”. “I bought my name, I own my name. It’s a business and I collect taxes on my behalf! It’s a very entrepreneurial thing. I hope that one day it will be bigger. »
Alysha Newman also has an OnlyFans page, a social network with paid content. The monthly subscription cost for the Ontarian is $19.99. She said she mainly sells exercise and nutrition plans there. “It allows me to communicate directly with my supporters. »
Your site also appears to openly offer “sexy” content. The topic is sensitive for the main interested party. “Destabilized” to be interviewed on OnlyFans, Newman wanted to end the interview and retracted all of her comments. “I don’t manage my site anymore, a company takes care of it,” she said, without giving further details.
Alysha Newman explained that she was portrayed negatively in the media. She only trusts one reporter from Toronto. She suggested contacting her agents, pointing out that she had not been informed that she would be interviewed while she was in Montreal.
“I have far more subscribers than her,” she concluded, speaking of the journalists she views as negative. “I’m doing my own advertising here,” she added, flashing her phone. The story doesn’t say if she checked her Instagram page on the way to the airport.
On Wednesday night, Newman overcame 4.70m at a meet in Guelph, setting the standard for Eugene to move up to third in the world this year. “I’m ready to come back with the best in the world,” she announced on her Instagram page.
- World record in women’s pole vault
- 5.06 m Yelena Izinbayeva (RUS)
Source: World Athletics