Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones had some emotional moments during an interview on the Today Show Wednesday.
The Des Moines-native spoke with Savannah Guthrie about her second heartbreaking final in an Olympic games, after finishing fourth in the 100 meter hurdles final Tuesday. Though Lolo clocked her season-best time in the final with 12.58 seconds it wasn’t enough to win a medal.
American teammates Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells finished ahead of Lolo, winning the silver and bronze respectively. Australian Sally Pearson won the gold medal with an Olympic record time of 12.35 seconds.
“I mean I’m ok, I think it’s disappointing on one extreme as in I didn’t get the medal but in another extreme a year ago, exactly a year ago I was having spinal cord surgery. So I mean if I look at that I’m like ok look at all the things you’ve been through spinal cord surgery, two hamstring injuries and you fought through all of that. And so I keep trying to focus on that and not the negativity I’ve received though from the other one,” Lolo told Guthrie.
Lolo faced criticism in a New York Times article leading up to her Olympic races, for sharing her struggles and putting herself out there. The author of the article claimed Lolo was relying on her looks, not her athletic talent to gain publicity, “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.”
Lolo fought back against the claims in the article, “They didn’t even do their research, they called me the Anna Kournikova of track. I have the American record holder, I am the American record holder indoors, have two world indoor titles and 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, I fought hard for my country and I think it’s just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I’m so broken hearted as it is.”
Lolo told Guthrie she didn’t regret putting herself out there, because she hopes her story gives someone else hope that they can overcome their own obstacles.
“I think there are lessons to be learned when you win and there are lessons to be learned when you lose,” said Lolo.