Lolo Jones: 'A shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I'm already so brokenhearted as it is'
An emotional Lolo Jones appeared on "The Today Show" Wednesday morning (Aug. 7), hours after she narrowly missed out on a medal in the 100m hurdles Tuesday night. But she wasn't emotional about her race -- she was proud of coming back four years after her stumble in Beijing, though obviously disappointed at not medaling.
No, Jones was emotional in response to a New York Times article written over the weekend that compared her to tennis player Anna Kournikova, meaning she has not had much success in her chosen sport but instead is trading on her looks.
The article says Jones "has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be -- vixen, virgin, victim -- to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses. "
On "Today," Jones tears up as she says of the article, "I think it was crazy just because it was two days before I competed, and then the fact that it was from a U.S. media. 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 worked six days a week, every day, for four years for a 12-second race and ... they just tore me apart, which is heartbreaking."
"They didn't even do their research, calling me the Anna Kournikova of track," Jones continues. "I have the American record. I am the American record holder indoors, I 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, fought hard for my country and it's just a shame that I have to deal with so much backlash when I'm already so brokenhearted as it is."
But Jones goes on to say there is a lot she can be proud of at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
"I was crushed afterwards. I know I had the best race of my season. Not the best race of my life, but I had the best race of my year, so I just try to look at that. It doesn't take away from the pain that I was close to once again having a medal and not getting it," says Jones.
"I think it's disappointing in one extreme as in I didn't get the medal, but in another extreme, a year ago I was having spinal cord surgery. I mean if I look at that, spinal cord surgery, two hamstring injuries and you fought through all of that, so I take time to focus on that and not the negativity I've received," she finishes.