The process of training to reach a world-class level as an athlete is challenging in and of itself. It takes patience, commitment, and a significant amount of self-assurance to succeed. Because of this, the narrative of Lolo Jones is even more extraordinary because of the difficulties she overcame when she was growing up. She was one of six children raised by a single mother and was the only one of her siblings to be born in Des Moines, Iowa. Her father was convicted of murder and sentenced to 12 years in jail; as a result, he was not present in her life during the formative years of her childhood. But despite everything that happened, Jones never gave up and eventually became one of the top sprinters in the world as well as a bobsledder of world-class calibre. Here are some interesting facts about the Olympian who has competed in three previous competitions.
Because her father was doing time in prison and her mother was responsible for providing food for six people, the family was forced to temporarily reside in the basement of a Salvation Army church. Because Lolo was so concerned about being teased by the other children, she would get up extra early and sneak out of the house before the other children could discover her secret. She ended up going to eight different schools over the course of eight years because of the unpredictable environment at home.
She remained in Des Moines for high school once she became aware of the star potential she has in track and field.
When Jones’ mother made the choice to transfer the family to the small town of Forest City, Iowa, in the state of Iowa, Lolo was concerned that the move would be detrimental to her nascent career in track and field. As a direct consequence of this, she made plans to relocate to the capital of the state, where she subsequently enrolled in Roosevelt High School. She was honoured as the Gatorade Midwest Athlete of the Year after breaking the record for the 100-meter hurdles at the state track meet in Iowa. She attended four separate high schools and throughout that time she resided with four different host families. They not only assisted her in becoming a more successful athlete, but they also ensured that she was successful in the classroom. She received her diploma with honours and even participated in Roosevelt University’s ensemble as a cellist.
She was so close to becoming a Cyclone for Iowa State.
Jones had originally intended to use an academic scholarship to go Iowa State, but her fellow track star Kim Carson, the goddaughter of her senior year host father, convinced her to attend Louisiana State instead. Jones tore up the competition throughout her illustrious collegiate track career with the Tigers, where she excelled in both the indoor and outdoor track events. She was a two-time winner of the NCAA championship, an 11-time All-American, and a six-time winner of the SEC championship in various hurdling events.
Her failure to qualify for the Summer Olympics in 2004 almost convinced her to give up competing for good.
It appeared to be a foregone certainty that she would compete in the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, given how successful she had been as an athlete while competing for her college. But once Jones was eliminated during the qualifying rounds, she vowed to her coach that she would never run another race again and hung up her track shoes. LSU’s head coach Dennis Shaver, on the other hand, was having none of it. He greeted her by saying, “I’ll see you at practise tomorrow.” Lolo had a change of heart and decided that she would continue working towards achieving her goals.
Her labour was at last beginning to bear fruit.
Jones came in second place in her debut professional track competition, which took place in Stuttgart. She had a successful performance at the World Athletics Final in 2006 and won first place at a competition held in Ostrava. In 2007, she won two of the competitions that she entered and came in second place in three others. It was obvious that she still has the qualities necessary to be a winner.
She was so close, but she was unable to complete the transaction in Beijing.
Following his dominating performance at a variety of competitions held all around the world, including his qualification for the Summer Olympics in 2008, Jones came into the 100-meter hurdles as the overwhelming favourite. During the championship, it seemed as though she was going to win by a wide margin; however, on the ninth hurdle (out of ten), her foot was unable to make it over the obstacle. As a direct consequence of this, she ended up coming in seventh place. She was utterly heartbroken, and some time later, she was overheard sobbing in the corridor while repeating, “Why, why, why?” She went on to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she competed in the 100-meter hurdles and ended up placing in fourth place.
Bobsledding became her second career after she tried her hand at it.
It is remarkable enough for Lolo to be one of the best in the world at one sport, but she also demonstrated that she is capable of competing in bobsled, which is an accomplishment that is extremely rare. At the World Championships in 2013, she competed in the mixed team event and brought home the gold. She also earned a spot in the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014 by finishing seventh overall in the world. During the 2021 World Championships held in Altenberg, Germany, she competed in the two-woman event and came away with the gold medal.
Jones continues to shine despite the fact that she is approaching her 40th year.
She had not participated in any track and field events for the previous three years when, on March 7, 2020, she competed in the Mississippi College meet and won both the 100-meter hurdles event and the 100-meter dash event. She has every intention of preparing for both the Summer Olympics in 2021, which will be held in Tokyo, and the Winter Olympics in 2022, which will be held in Beijing.