Lolo Jones is still the story.
Nobody seems very happy about this fact, perhaps least of all Jones, who gave an emotional interview to Today about negative attention she's been receiving. Of course, detractors of the 30-year-old track star might note that appearing on Today isn't the best way to get less attention.
Despite finishing fourth behind Sally Pearson of Australia and Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells of the United States on Tuesday night in the 100-meter hurdles final, Jones who publicly talked about being a virgin before the London Olympics, remains a hot topic conversation.
Jones' teammates, Harper and Wells, didn't seem too pleased about the level of attention consistently given to Jones while talking with Michelle Beadle of NBC on Wednesday morning. During the interview, Harper expressed hard feelings about the way that her own triumph at the 2008 Olympics was overshadowed by Jones' heartbreaking failure. Wells perhaps went even further, saying that it was the right three women who reached the medal stand in London.
CLICK HERE to watch Harper and Wells in an awkward interview with Beadle.
Jones' journey to 2012 Olympics began as a feel-good story of redemption for an athlete undone by the untimeliest of falls during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Leading the final in the 100-meter hurdles in 2008, the then 26-year-old Jones clipped the 9th of 10 hurdles and struggled to a seventh-place finish. As Jones stumbled toward the finish line, Harper surged past to win a surprise gold.
One top of any festering animosity for Jones among her Team USA teammates, she was recently the focus of a scathing article in The New York Times, titled "For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image."
Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.
While Harper and Wells seem likely to agree with article's assertion about the publicity, Jones told Savannah Guthrie of Today that she found the article extremely hurtful -- and inaccurate.
CLICK HERE to read the Times story.
"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," Jones told Savannah Guthrie of Today on Wednesday morning. Jones held back tears during the interview, saying the Times, "tore me apart."
WATCH INTERVIEW ABOVE
The night before her interview with Guthrie, Jones' race had lasted 12.58 seconds. That time left her .23 seconds behind Pearson for gold and just .1 seconds behind Wells for bronze.
"At least this time it was a clean, smooth race. It's a season's best so I'm pleased," Jones told reporters after the event, before adding, "But obviously I'm crushed."
Known for her candid and frequent posts on Twitter, Jones predictably shared with her followers her feelings after finishing fourth place in the final of the only event on her Olympic program.
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