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 and appeared visibly hurt by the negative publicity she had gotten leading up to the event. Here is video of the interview:
Jones fell victim to the hypocritical media coverage that many other celebrities experience on a daily basis. Over the past year, Lolo Jones has been one of the most open and cooperative Olympic athletes. She has expressed no issues with discussing her personal life away from the sport, which in turn made her an easy target for some media outlets to attack if she didn’t perform up to gaudy their standards.
In reality, despite finishing without a medal Jones’ performance is admirable and should be viewed as such. She finished 4th in the fastest women’s 100-meter heat in history just a year off of spinal surgery. It’s a bit disappointing that instead of being applauded for her athletic accomplishment, the same media that embraced Jones for being personable and engaging rips her for those exact same reasons.
Its a classic catch-22, and unfortunately it will continue to happen far too often.