Posted January 24, 2014

U.S. Bobsled Federation defends Lolo Jones’ selection to Olympic team

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Lolo Jones (right) (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Lolo Jones (right) has never won an Olympic medal. (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

NBC denied any involvement in Lolo Jones’ selection to the U.S. bobsled team as a way to sell a ready-made star for the upcoming Olympics, despite assertions otherwise.

U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO Darrin Steele backed NBC’s claim on Thursday night, telling the Associated Press that Jones “absolutely” earned her spot on the team. Steele said the selection committee “relied only on data and results in making its picks,” according to the report.

“…Steele [said] he even double-checked all the numbers that were pored over while deciding on the three push athletes for the women’s team that will compete in Sochi,” the AP report stated.

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The final spot came down to Jones and bobsled veterans Emily Azevedo and Katie Eberling. Eberling has won world championship medals and has three World Cup medals this season. Steele said it was “incredibly close” between the three, but inevitably chose the former Olympic hurdler.

And he said the decision was solely the federation’s.

“Nobody put any pressure on us,” Steele said. “We haven’t made a single deal based on Lolo Jones.

“This is an emotional situation. She brings a lot of baggage with her. I don’t see that side of her. I kind of respect that she’s not guarded. The reality is it’s easy to look for an excuse, especially when it’s close. I can see the logic when people don’t understand the sport. I’m a little disappointed with some of the people inside the sport who make the same statements.”

Aja Evans and former gold medal sprinter Lauryn Williams are the U.S.’s three push athletes. All three are first-time Winter Olympians.

“At the end of the day, the selection committee, we don’t look at Twitter or anyone outside our sport,” Steele said. “We’re more concerned about inside our sport. There’s a lot of factors in making our decisions. Performance is the biggest one.”

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31 comments
bartle.dale
bartle.dale

she needs to just marry me and get it over with. But the winter olympics are great, you have hockey, and..ok, its just hockey.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

I thought this was OBVIOUS.....it's about SEX APPEAL in the Olympics. Daaaah! 

alhmiel1
alhmiel1

No one watches the olympics  and bobsledding anyway.

visitor41
visitor41

I think you haters got it all wrong.  She was a world class hurdler just one hurdle from a gold medal.  There are few other sports that require the combination of speed and explosive, quick muscle response and in that, pushing for a bobsledding team is a perfect fit.  Yeah, she's a wacko, but so are some of the other elite athletes in other sports.  I could list a few examples, but let's wait for the results before we pass further judgement.

Chris8
Chris8

Who cares.  Bobsledding has like 6 people in the U.S. who follow it outside the olympics.  And even during the games, does anyone really care?

Matthew W
Matthew W

Lolo has the most twitter followers of those pushing for that lone spot. 


That's the data that mattered most to US Bobsledding. 


She's never won an olympic medal and that'll hold true in Sochi.

MikeHarrison
MikeHarrison

The ones left off should be grateful, they don't have to wear those god awful Ralph Lauren made uniforms

Joe R2
Joe R2

Tim Tebow of bobsledding...  

SukMadiq
SukMadiq

COme out of the closet LOLO!

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

NBC is paying billions to put on this show. I have no problem with them buying a place or two on the team. It's terribly unfair to the snubbed athlete, but as you see, they are already generating interest. 


friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Any time your company is big enough.... usually you are lying especially if you feel it necessary to come out and speak on a non issue like this...
Plus this is womens sport , no one really cares unless its gymnastic , 90's tennis or ice skating, mind you i stopped watching ice skating after they banned the only move i turned on the TV to see..... avid ice skating fans know what move i was referring to

Another reason womens sport is very lack luster the players have no drive / will power and very little heart... no drama / suspense.... if one women or team has the momentum you might as well turn the channel or leave because there will be no comeback

Finally the most egregious reason why women sport provide very little interest..... as soon as they get their name out there regardless of skill set / talent level... they rush to cash in on their sexuality.... how can you take anything they do serious? .. and if you were to approach them on the street like the 2 dollars T.J. hooker they sell themselves to the world as then they have issues with you, when we all know that the only thing some of them are good for.....  is to bent over a chair in a low rent hotel room or over random trash cans in some back alley if you don't feel like splurging that night.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

Sure, put a skank loser runner who can't finish her real field instead of a proven winner with medals. Hope lolo screws it up for America

6marK6
6marK6

The Olympics is no different than professional wrestling, it is about getting attention and then using that attention for endorsements and money later. There is no purity to this crap.

positivewins
positivewins

I would have a lot more confidence that this decision was not money-driven if USBSF would pledge to never use Jones in any commercial way at any time in the future.

x72
x72

Lick my decals off, baby


- Captain Beefheart

AustinRoth
AustinRoth

Right, because an athlete that cannot even manage to win Olympic gold in her own specialty is obviously a better choice than one who has "has won world championship medals and has three World Cup medals this season".

PC reverse racism, pure and simple.

RobertJacke
RobertJacke

If Lolo was the best so be it, Glad to see on the Olympic team

stewartjk1
stewartjk1

@Matthew WSeriously.  At this point she's famous for being famous.  Good athlete but so are thousands of others.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@MikeHarrison Don't you get the feeling someone accidentally picked them out of the  discard pile?

gatordebate
gatordebate

@Joe R2Then I guess she will win a gold medal since Tebow won a Heisman and two BCS National Championships.  No need to be a hater my man!

AnthonyPatterrson
AnthonyPatterrson

What's "reverse racism"? Wouldn't it just be racism, or is it a special kind of racism only white people experience? What other form of discrimination is there a "reverse" component? And how do you know the people not selected are victims of this "reverse " racism? Or is it you're looking to make someone a "victim"?

KenKing
KenKing

@AustinRoth Eberling has 3 bronze medals this season. Jones has 2 silver medals this season. Every Olympic sport has the same problem: there is always a person who is the first left off the team. Everyone states that Eberling and Jones were very very close. There is also chemistry to consider. Perhaps the driver prefers Jones because of  a good connection in the sled.


Furthermore, who is to say that Jones'  specialty is not actually bobsled and that she should have realized that 10 years ago?