Last weekend, the New York Times published a piece that many believe was extremely unfair to US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones. The heading of the article said it all: “For Lolo Jones, Everything is Image.” It compared Jones to women’s tennis star Anna Kournikova, making the point that her personal affairs and good looks have made her a popular topic of discussion — not her accomplishments on the track. As you might expect, the piece greatly upset Jones.
“I think it was crazy just because it was two days before I competed, and then the fact that it was from a US media,’’ Jones said on The Today Show as she nearly broke into tears. “They should be supporting our US Olympic athletes and instead they just ripped me to shreds. I just thought that that was crazy because I worked six days a week, every day, for four years for a 12-second race and the fact that they just tore me apart, which is heartbreaking.
“They didn’t even do their research, calling me the Anna Kournikova of track. 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.”
Jones has an infectious personality and a great sense of humor. She has openly discussed how she has remained a virgin and told interviewers what she is looking for in a man. She has even joked about being linked to Tim Tebow, whereas some may have taken offense to the notion that two virgins are destined to be with one another.
On Tuesday, Lolo tweeted that she had a “broken heart” after failing to medal in her race by one-tenth of a second. The race itself was the fastest in Olympic history. She finished eighth in her race at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but only after clipping the final hurdle. Jones was leading up to that point, so obviously she is more than just a pretty face. The New York Timesclearly did Jones and Team USA no favors by voicing a different opinion.