Hurdler Lolo Jones on critics: “They just ripped me to shreds”
Lolo Jones narrowly missed a medal with her fourth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday, and Jones emotionally spoke out against her critics in an interview with the TODAY Show on Wednesday.
A recent New York Times’ story compared her to tennis player Anna Kournikova. The story’s premise was that the media attention on Jones stemmed from her looks, not her accomplishments on the track.
Jones, who was leading when she hit the second-to-last hurdle at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, struck back against the article.
“I think it was crazy, just because it was two days before I competed,” Jones said. “And then, the fact that (it’s) from a U.S. media (outlet). They should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes, and instead, they just ripped me to shreds.
“I just thought that that was crazy because I work six days a week, every day for four years, for a 12-second race. The fact that they just tore me apart, it was just heartbreaking.
“They didn’t even do the research,” she continued.” Called me the Anna Kournikova of track. I have the American record. I am the American record holder indoors, 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, I fought hard for my country. It’s just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I’m already so brokenhearted as it is.”
Jones was uncertain to make the U.S. Olympic team or, later, the Olympic final. She was not expected to contend for the gold medal.