Lori “Lolo” Jones is an American track and field and bobsled athlete specializing in 60 and 100 meter hurdles. She’s won a number of honors, including 3 NCAA titles, 11 All-American honors, indoor national titles and gold medals at the World Indoor Championship.
She was also favored to win the 100 meter hurdles during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, although she tripped and finished in 7th, moving on to win silver during the 2008 World Athletics Final. She currently holds the American record in the 60 meter hurdles and also competes as a brakeman on the U.S. national bobsled team.
Lolo Jones was born in 1982 in Des Moines, Iowa and attended 8 schools in as many years as her single mother, also named Lori, had to work to jobs to support her family. Her family spent time in the Air Force and later prison while she spent some of her childhood living in the basement of a Salvation Army church.
As her family was planning a new move, she told her mother she couldn’t move to a city without track and needed to pursue her dreams so she parted ways with her family and lived with other families while she enrolled in high school with the help of her mentor. She worked hard to follow her dream, working jobs at Home Depot and as a personal trainer to focus on track and, by 2006, she was ranked 4th in the United States and 7th in the world.
In 2012, she placed 3rd in the 100m hurdles, earning her a spot for the 2012 Summer Olympics team. During the London Olympics, she finished 4th during the finals with a final time of 12.58 seconds.
Lolo Jones Quotes
“You have to take the pros with the cons. I do that with everything in life … The pros are I can get subjects that aren’t talked about out there. The cons are it may hit high publicity traffic areas and I’m like, `Oh, my gosh, I’m trying to prepare for U.S. championships. I’m just trying to make you laugh.” ~ Lolo Jones
“I’m inspired by failure. The process of defeat – picking yourself back up again is the hardest thing in the world.” ~ Lolo Jones
“Greatness finds us by obstacles in front of us. I don’t look at hurdles as obstacles blocking my path but opportunities to overcome.” ~ Lolo Jones
“I’m more powerful now, I have a new powerclean max, a new deep-squat max, because I’ve trained with the bobsled team now and I’ve gotten a lot stronger … It’s going to be harder to get rid of muscle and we don’t want to get rid of muscle. I don’t know if I’ll get down as slim as the 133, but I definitely think I’ll be stronger.” ~ Lolo Jones
“In my 25 years of coaching in Massachusetts, Alex Niemiec has been one of the best track athletes I have ever seen … There is nothing he cannot do in the sport of track and field, and I have observed him on many occasions helping other athletes and displaying great sportsmanship with his competitors…” ~ Lolo Jones
“It’s just a gift I want to give my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. There are virgins out there and I want to let them know that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.” ~ Lolo Jones
“The vine of the paycheck is just showing the difference between track and bobsled, and to be honest bobsledders work more hours than track … The bottom line is that all Olympic athletes dedicate their lives to their sports and do not receive lucrative paychecks like athletes in mainstream professional sports. So hopefully this will make people appreciate just how hard Olympians work, often just for the love of the sport.” ~ Lolo Jones
“I work six days a week every day for four years for a 12-second race, and the fact that they just tore me apart, it was just heartbreaking.” ~ Lolo Jones
“I guess all the people who were talking about me, they can have their night and laugh about me…. I’m really disappointed in myself, and I felt like I let a lot of people down. I just feel like a big disappointment.” ~ Lolo Jones
“It’s a new sport for me and there’s a ton of room for improvement. … I’m coming in here trying to learn everything quickly. I’m looking forward to fixing some things and hammering it out.” ~ Lolo Jones
“I’m feeling really strong right now, like Hercules strong … Not any other female hurdler really does it, so I’m excited to use that new technique here.” ~ Lolo Jones
“Speaking out is the first step to change. That is how Track and field changed our sport. We demanded improvements.” ~ Lolo Jones
“The workouts were different than anything I was accustomed to in track … The days were longer. But it worked.” ~ Lolo Jones
“If I knew a secret on how to make a tweet or a Facebook post that would please everybody, I’d be a millionaire.” ~ Lolo Jones
“I’m still living in the Olympic Training Center. I’m 33 years old and still living in a dorm because that’s the only thing I can afford … After 16 years in the sport, I don’t have a dime toward retirement…” ~ Lolo Jones
“I don’t want to make anyone mad, and I’ve always wanted to help out the bobsled athletes. Some of them have debt because they’ve given their life to the sport.” ~ Lolo Jones
“Putting your heart out there, obviously, it opens you up to a lot of negativity.” ~ Lolo Jones
“Being able to eat ice cream and chocolate and pizza and being encouraged to put on weight was, I don’t know, like nothing I experienced in my life … Having somebody tell you that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, it was a really refreshing thing for me. Mentally, it was good for me. It’s not like I’m not eating in track. It’s just different. It’s very healthy, the same things and it gets mundane. Chicken and veggies every day.” ~ Lolo Jones