Found August 07, 2012 on Fox Sports:
All that emotion, all that work, all those personal details. Lolo Jones sold herself by being painfully honest with us. Four years of honesty, four years of salesmanship. She invested so much of herself into winning gold and baring her soul. What now? The winners go on to lives of glory. But what about the ones who shoot big and lose? Jones finished fourth in the Olympic 100-meter hurdles Tuesday. Her fastest race of the year, 12.58 seconds, but no medal. Again. Here is the painful truth: Lolo Jones just isn't quite good enough. For all the marketing and all the headlines, you still have to get it done in the big moment. Michael Phelps does. Usain Bolt does. "Obviously, I just feel like a big disappointment,'' Jones said. "So I guess all the people who were talking about me can have their night and laugh about me, I guess.'' Jones is never going to be an Olympic medalist. She was on the verge of winning gold four years ago in Beijing, but hit a hurdle and finished seventh. She said she had always hoped that Rio would be her last Olympics, but that's four years away, and she'll be 34 by then. Even now, she said, she's already having trouble getting into big races. "Politics, I guess,'' she said. Jones was a wreck after the race. Not so much in tears, though there were some. Instead, it was about the confusion of what this means for her after all the buildup. There was anger, frustration, embarrassment, maybe some fear mixed in there, too. Definitely some fear. I should probably mention the medal winners here. There were some. Australian Sally Pearson won gold in 12.35 seconds. Americans Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells won silver and bronze. Jones missed a medal by one-tenth of a second. Afterward, Harper and Wells were not the most gracious of winners regarding Jones. "I feel like I kind of shut some people up,'' Harper said. "You've got to talk about Dawn a little bit. Sprinkle me in that conversation about the hundred hurdles.'' You were right there, Dawn, just 289 words into this Lolo column. Harper is the one who won gold in Beijing after Jones hit the hurdle. And she has been frustrated and actually bitter about all the attention Jones has gotten. But I'm sorry, the story is still all about Lolo. "Keep watching Lolo and you'll see me, too,'' Wells said. Someone asked if she'll be the one we see in front of Jones? "Yeah. Of course.'' Wells also said this: "They can't leave me out, because I'll be in all the pictures on the podium.'' Harper and Wells can't win for winning here. When you are the best, it's understandably frustrating that everyone focuses on someone else. But it is not Jones' fault that she knows how to sell herself. It's actually important. Jones said after the race that she doesn't understand the backlash against her, or the story attacking her in The New York Times the other day. I understand it. The other hurdlers are jealous. And the media are holding her to an unfair standard, probably sexist. Also, when people are in the spotlight all the time, sometimes you can get tired of them. Jones has sold herself endlessly, but that's exactly what these athletes with short-term careers should be doing. The turning point was probably in tweeting -- and then in saying on HBO -- that she's a virgin. It made Jones one of the biggest sports names, but also kicked off some hard feelings about what, exactly, she was trying to push. Yes, that was probably calculated. But it was Jones trying to open up even more. She had already told about living in poverty, in a Red Cross basement, and shoplifting to get food. We ask these athletes to let us in, and Jones did, big time. She was a marketing creation, and now will have to go back to that. But at one point, she also was the world's best hurdler. She won two indoor world championships. She has not only made two Olympic teams, but also reached two finals. Jones tried to take comfort in the way Tuesday's race ended. It was a clean race. No mistake like in Beijing. She just wasn't fast enough. It takes rarified air to be an Olympic champion, though. And if we didn't know she was a virgin, most people would not care any more about her. That sounds cold, but the point is, people will still care. The self-marketing did her no harm, but instead gave her prospects. She just can't think about that now. "Every time I come here (to the Olympics),'' she said, "I get burned.'' Jones will not have a life of Olympic glory. She shot big and lost on the track. But she still took her life from nowhere, reached the Olympics and built a brand. Her honesty hurt her Tuesday, but in the end, that is her big victory here, too.

Lolo Jones Breaks Down on 'Today' Show, Admits to Feeling Like 'Big Disappointment' (Video)

Lolo Jones again let an Olympic medal slip away on Tuesday, and she admitted soon after her fourth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles that she was "brokenhearted." That heartbreak was apparent on Wednesday. A visibly upset Jones appeared on NBC's Today on Wednesday morning, and she responded to the criticism she has received, particularly that which appared in an...

Lolo Jones hopes to return for 2016

Lolo Jones isn't going away. And she's not going to change a thing. The day after another disappointment at the Olympics, the 30-year-old Jones told The Associated Press she has no plans to retire and would like to still be hurdling at the Rio Games in 2016. ''Last night, Gail Devers called me and said she was . . . 37 when she got her last medal,'' Jones...

Lolo Jones gets emotional talking about coverage

A day after barely missing out on an Olympic medal, U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones got emotional during an appearance on NBC's ''Today'' show while discussing what she called ''heartbreaking'' criticism in the media. Asked specifically about a recent story in The New York Times, Jones said Wednesday: ''They just ripped me to shreds, and I just...

How Lolo Jones set herself up to get played by the media

The storyline for Lolo Jones heading into the London Olympics was obvious the minute Jones stumbled over the second-to-last hurdle in Beijing: “Unfinished Business”. But that particular storyline slowly faded away in the months leading up to the London games. And in its place appeared brand new “mainstream” storylines. It all started when Jones made an appearance on HBO...

Lolo Jones: Critics 'ripped me to shreds'

Already stinging from her fourth-place finish in Tuesday's 100-meter hurdles, Lolo Jones battled tears on Wednesday and lashed out at critics who "ripped me to shreds" days before she competed in the Olympics final. The subject of her ire: A piece in The New York Times last weekend that questioned whether Jones was more marketing sensation than gifted athlete. The...

Video: LoLo Jones rips media, NY Times for unwarranted criticism

American track star Lori (Lolo) Jones finished fourth in what was the fastest women’s 100-meter hurdles finals in Olympic history, just a few days after the NY Times published an article criticizing Jones for being more “image” than “ability”. During an appreance on the Today Show, Jones fired back at the media, admitting that she was heartbroken [...]

Video: Lolo Jones rips NY Times for unwarranted criticism

American track star Lori (Lolo) Jones finished fourth in what was the fastest women’s 100-meter hurdles finals in Olympic history, just a few days after the NY Times published an article criticizing Jones for being more “image” than “ability”. During an appreance on the Today Show, Jones fired back at the media, admitting that she was heartbroken [...]

Lolo Jones Is Just Fine In My Book

I still don’t really know who Lolo Jones is, but I hear that she gets a lot of hype for being attractive, and being one of the better hurdlers in the country. Ah, and she takes pride in being a virgin. So with that as the backdrop, I watched her come in fourth in the 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday night, and then saw her break down in tears on the Today Show this morning. It was...

Harper, Jones move to hurdles semis

Defending Olympic champion Dawn Harper, American teammate Lolo Jones and world champion Sally Pearson advanced to the semifinals of the women's 100-meter hurdles on Monday. Harper, Jones and Pearson won their respective heats. Pearson had the fastest time in the seven heats, covering the distance in 12.57 seconds - the fastest first-round time in Olympic history. Jessica Ennis...

Lolo doesn't medal in 100m hurdles

There will be no medal for Lolo Jones. She finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday. Sally Pearson provided a rare bright spot for Australia at the London Games, earning the country's fourth gold medal by edging defending champion Dawn Harper of the U.S. to win the event in an Olympics-record 12.35 seconds. Under a steady rain, Pearson barely crossed the line ahead...

GIFterpiece Theatre: Yelena Isinbayeva, Lolo Jones and NASA

What’s beef: USA track teammates Dawn Harper & Kellie Wells say Lolo Jones got too much attention

So apparently this Lolo Jones backlash isn’t going to stop soon. Following their second and third place in the 100 m women’s hurdle, Lolo Jones ‘ track and field teammates Dawn Harper (Silver medal) and Kellie Wells (Bronze medal) expressed in an interview with NBC Sports Michelle Beadle that they felt their own personal stories [...]
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