Lolo Jones finished a disappointing fourth place in yesterday’s 100m hurdles final and tweeted that she was “brokenhearted” about not medaling in her only Olympic event. But in her interview with Today this morning, that wasn’t what made her tear up.
“I know I had the best race of my season,” she said, putting a more positive spin on the race. “Not the best race of my life, but I had the best race of my year, so I just try to look at that. It doesn’t take away from the pain that I was close to once again having a medal and not getting it.”
What really tore her up, however, was a New York Times story that ran over the weekend, criticizing the hype surrounding her for being “based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign.” Australian Sally Pearson (who did in fact win gold yesterday) and Americans Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells (silver and bronze), were more favored in the race and should have received more attention, the story argued.
“They didn’t even do their research, calling me the Anna Kournikova of track,” Jones told Today’s Savannah Guthrie this morning. “I have the American record. I am the American record holder indoors, I have two world indoor titles. Just because I don’t boast about these things, I don’t think I should be ripped apart by media. I laid it out there, fought hard for my country and it’s just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I’m already so brokenhearted as it is.” Read more…
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.”
There’s nothing more aw-worthy than seeing celebrities from different industries become fans of each other. Justin Bieber tweeted at U.S. Olympic swimmer, Missy Franklin today that he heard that she’s a fan of his. “Now im a fan of hers too. CONGRATS on winning GOLD!” and added the very adorable “#muchlove” tag. We wish we saw more of this celeb interaction! Athletes are glued to their headphones before competition to get pumped up in London and some Olympians have confessed their love for certain artists. What we’d like to see is these artists responding with support for the folks who are seriously earning their celebrity status this summer.
Ryan Lochte loves Lil Wayne. How much so, you ask? Well, Wayne’s song “Sky’s the Limit” is on Lochte’s pump-up playlist. Not only that but Lochte’s dog’s name is Carter, named after a certain Dwayne Michael Carter, aka rapper Lil Wayne. Oh, yeah, and there are those grills.
The Dream Team’s LeBron James loves Big K.R.I.T. James said that Big K.R.I.T’s song, “I Got This” “was one of [the Miami Heat’s] theme songs this year.”