With all this talk about gold medals, we’re also reminded of an athlete who has a heart of gold. Lolo Jones is a hurdler for Team USA who has proved herself to be an athlete to look up to. While competing at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, she finished seventh in the 100m hurdles after taking a disastrous fall on the ninth hurdle. Despite this big setback, Lolo did not give up. And in 2010, she finished as the #1 100m hurdler in the U.S. and #2 in the world. As if being an incredible athlete and training isn’t hard enough, she is always putting others before herself, and that’s why we can’t stop ourselves from gushing over her. Lolo said the reason for the charitable donations she makes and the stances she takes is because she’s “been receiving help from charities and other assistance programs since I was young, so it was only natural for me to give back.” Here are some ways Jones has shown what an amazing person she is:
- Following her race in Beijing in 2008, Jones gave her $4,000 in prize money to a fund assisting Renee Trout, a single mother from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who was a victim of the Iowa floods. But it didn’t stop there. Jones’ sponsors each matched her winnings which brought the total donation to $12,000. She received the Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year title for her significant contributions.
- After an emotional race yesterday, in which Jamaica’s Brigitte Foster-Hylton failed to advance, Jones ran over in an attempt to console her. We love to see that kind of compassion from one athlete of one delegation to another. She later explained, “The emotions were just outpouring from her. Even if she would have punched me, I totally would have understood.”
- Jones is also active in USA Track & Field’s Win With Integrity program, aimed at educating youth, parents, educators, and coaches about the benefits that come from leading a physically active, drug-free lifestyle while living with pride in yourself.
- Lolo is definitely not one to forget who helped her get to where she is today. Lolo gave a pair of new running shoes to each track member of her old high school, Theodore Roosevelt High School, and donated $3,000 for indoor practice hurdles and school track improvements. She is an athlete concerned with inspiring and empowering her fans. When she tweeted this picture she asked the girls of the TRHS track team to “bring [her] a uniform so I can run as a high school athlete” for the next time she comes to visit.
Lolo will be moving on to the semifinals, and hopefully finals, of the women’s 100m hurdles today. Make sure to catch her compete again.
[Photos: Twitter, Getty Images]