Of all the athletes not named Phelps or Bolt, Lolo Jones was among those with the most hype around her heading in to the London Olympics. The 100m hurdler is a big deal on Twitter, cracking (legitimately funny) jokes about her virginity and religion
Jones isn’t the premier star in her sport (that would be Australia’s Sally Pearson, who won gold) and she’s not even the best American (Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells took the silver and bronze, respectively), but Jones’ fourth-place finish in yesterday’s 100 m hurdles final is nothing to scoff at. It’s all the more impressive when you consider that Jones underwent spine surgery only a year ago.
Still, Jones is now facing a significant backlash back home in America. Because of her larger-than-life social media presence, more was expected of her. She was viewed by many as one of the stars of these games, and to miss the podium is significant. Now, the talk has turned to whether she is more style than substance.
Speaking on the Today Show, Jones broke down when asked about the criticism she has faced (specifically, from this scathing New York Times article that was published in the days prior to her big race).