Lolo Jones has responded to comments made from her U.S. teammates in the 2012 Olympic Games after they commented about the media attention she received despite not earning a medal for her races in London.
- (Photo: Reuters/Steve Dipaola)
Jones, 30-year-old Christian hurdler who placed fourth in her 100-meter event at the London Olympics, was criticized by spectators, the media and her teammates for her choice to speak publicly about her virginity and humble beginnings. 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.
However, Jones recently spoke to her hometown Des Moines, Iowa news station KCCI-TV about Harper and Wells' criticisms.
"That was kind of a shocker so I didn't see that one coming at all," Jones said in response to her teammates' comments. "I don't know. I kind of understand their frustration I guess because they feel like they don't have media or photo shoots or any of that off the track kind of stuff that they would want."
After Jones missed out on an Olympic medal, Harper said she was hurt that the Christian hurdler was still receiving immense amounts of media attention.
"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 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."
The comments made by Jones' teammates seemed to reflect some tension taking place between the women, which caused Michelle Beadle, host of the "Today" show, to address it.
"Wow... you can cut the tension in here with a knife," Beadle said on the NBC program after speaking with Harper and Wells.
However, Jones' said she did not crave the media attention in the way that her teammates may think.
"I'm not running track to be the most famous person. If I want to do that I would totally do a Kim Kardashian or Snookie," Jones told KCCI. "I'd do a sex tape or something like that if I wanted fame. I'm running track to get a medal."
For Jones, the Olympic medal means more to her than any media attention.
"So if I had that medal, that's the only thing I feel that would make me content," she said.