Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Keep It Cute, Boo: The Lolo Jones Saga Continues

If you're not familiar with Lolo Jones, these are the two things that are always synonymous with her name: (1) she's a track star and (2) at 30 years old, she's a virgin.  While the latter of the two appears more juicy, there's more scandal in the former because of her recent showing at the Olympics.

Here's the quick backstory: Yesterday, Lolo placed fourth in the 100m hurdle finals. This was hard to take, not only because she was hoping to taking home an Olympic medal but also because the media has been especially hard on her lately.   The New York Times ripped her last week for only being visually appealing but not holding any real track achievements.  No, she doesn't have medals but she's maintained some American records over the last couple of years so you can understand her frustration during her interview on TODAY with some members of the media who appear to be all on her back about something that's not really accurate.  You follow me?  Good, so let's move on to the latest and greatest.

Fellow American track team members Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells won the silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the same 100m hurdle race in which Lolo lost.  I'm not really familiar with them as I don't watch track & field year round but was able to read a little bit about each since their wins last night. They both have pretty good stories and we likely haven't heard more about them during the Olympics because they don't have the exotic look or the "perfect" pretty face that the mainstream looks for. The one they found in Lolo.  Can we be honest and acknowledge that these points are valid? Good.  What I noticed at the end of the race yesterday was that Dawn and Kellie were eager to hug and congratulate each other while I didn't notice Lolo come anywhere near them (she was probably off somewhere not knowing how to deal with failure and being a sore loser but its okay).  I gave a quick "hmmph" and shrugged it off because they probably all congratulated each other in the locker room after Lolo collected her emotions.

Then I saw this video this morning.  If you don't feel like clicking the link (I know how it is), long and short is that the interviewer asked both Dawn why she felt she wasn't getting the respect she thought she deserved and Dawn basically told her that she felt she has a compelling story but because their (Note: I guess "their" is referring to advertisers...not sure) favorite didn't win, she was pushed to the side.  However, she feels like NOW people must respect her since after winning the gold medal in 2008, she's now won a silver in this year's Olympics.  The interviewer then asked if there was any fighting amongst the team and for her part, Kellie Wells replied, "Well, I think that, on the podium tonight, the three girls that earned their spot and they got their medals and they worked hard and did what they needed to do, prevailed. And that's all that really needs to be said." Dawn added a "Boom" to put an exclamation point on her girl's statement.


Is that what we do now, throw our teammates under the bus just because we don't like them?  Was there a reason Dawn and Kellie couldn't keep it cute and politically correct?  Did any of us need to know that they pretty much can't stand Lolo? Do either of these women think we want to hear more of their respective stories because they put their feelings on blast? Had they given their answers any thought and remembered any media training they received, they would have smiled it off and gave a very generic and hell, patriotic answer.

Do they think that any companies really feel the need to endorse either of them after making such damning statements? I get it, you feel disrespected by the media, fans and perhaps the track and field community. Hell, maybe even behind the scenes, Lolo throws ya'll much shade. But guess what? We don't know that part of the story nor do we need to.  Don't be mad at her because with or without the accolades you have she's getting the fame.  She didn't do it, her team did.  All their little shadiness did was help her get a little more shine and sympathy so look for a new check from a new endorser any day now.

It's all funny and "you go girl" until you find yourself borrowing someone else's sneakers to race in again (direct shade to Ms. Harper).  Next time, worry about what you might can do better to a cut of what the next woman has. Or better, keep working hard and you'll just get your own.

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