Lolo Jones is beginning to think twice about being so vocal when it comes to her virginity. The track and field athlete who placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics is catching heat from fellow athletes, the media, and on Twitter for publicly discussing her stance on waiting until marriage to have sex.
- (Photo: Reuters/Gary Hershorn)
Jones may have made it to the 2012 London Olympics, but the 30-year-old Christian hurdler did not win a medal in her 100-meter event after she placed fourth on Tuesday. Some people took to Twitter to blame the athlete's virginity for her performance that failed to gain her a medal.
"Can't sum1 just send LOLO Jones home!!!" one person tweeted. "She needs 2 find her self a man or woman! Stop doing track races, go find sum sex!"
Many other people took to the social networking website to share the same sentiments.
"Lolo Jones should've had sex before that race," another person tweeted. "Bet none of the hurdlers that finished top three are virgins. #Sexisforwinners."
However, Jones is no stranger to hearing similar criticism. In an interview with the "Today" show in May, the hurdler admitted that some men have tried to use similar logic to try and convince her to abandon her vow to remain a virgin until marriage.
"I've been tempted. I've had guys tell me, they're like, 'Hey you know if you have sex it will help you run faster,'" Jones revealed, before sharing her response. "If you marry me, then yeah."
In the interview, Jones revealed why she has chosen to remain a virgin and shared her story of struggling with the choice.
"It's just something, a gift that I want to give to my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. If there's virgins out there, I just want to let them know, it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," Jones admitted. "Harder than training for the Olympics, harder than graduating from college, has been to stay a virgin before marriage."
However, some of Jones' fellow U.S. teammates were not happy with the media attention that the star athlete has been receiving, since she has yet to receive any Olympic or world outdoor championship medals. Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, 28- and 30-year-old Olympic hurdlers who finished in second and third place at the 100-meter finals respectively, called Jones a media "favorite" and questioned the attention she was getting despite not winning a medal.
"Because their favorite [Miss Jones] didn't win all of a sudden it's just like, 'We're going to push your story aside, and still gonna push this one,'" Harper said in an interview with NBC Sports. "That hurt."
Harper also questioned sharing so much of her personal life in the media, after Jones' has shared her own story about growing up on welfare, eating government cheese and living in the basement of an Iowa church with her family.
"I've had family issues as well, but I'm not willing to say all of them just so it can be in the papers," Harper has said. "I don't want that for myself or my family."
Wells also chimed in, saying that the people who deserved to earn medals in the competition did.
"Well, I think that, on the podium tonight, the three girls that earned their spot, that got their medals and they worked hard and did what they needed to do, prevailed," Wells told NBC Sports. "And that's all that really needs to be said."
Michelle Beadle, host of the "Today" show, recognized the obvious tension between Jones and her fellow teammates who were representing the same country.
"Wow... you can cut the tension in here with a knife," Beadle said on the NBC program.
In another recent interview with the show, Jones' questioned if she was sharing too much information with the media after receiving more attention for her virginity instead of her athletic abilities.
"This is my path and I was just sharing a part of my life," Jones said in an interview with "Today" before placing fourth in the finals. "Maybe I should zip it."
However, after losing out on her hopes of an Olympic medal in 2012, Jones said she had no regrets.
"The Olympics are only once every four years so you have to take advantage of all your opportunities, both to be an inspiration to people and help support your sponsors who help you," she said. "I don't regret doing any stories or being in magazines."
Instead of responding to the comments made by her teammates who placed highly in her competition, Jones took to her Twitter to thank God and congratulate them.
"…Thank you lord for technically giving me the best seat in the stadium to watch the 100mh final," Jones tweeted after her loss. "Congrats Sally (Pearson), Dawn and Kellie."