Olympic US Hurdler Lolo Jones Poised For Gold Medal Win (Photos)
Lori 'Lolo' Jones is an American track and field athlete who has won a world championship and two American titles in hurdles competition. She won three NCAA titles during her stellar career at LSU.
The LSU hurdler fell near the end of her 2004 qualifying race and the stumble cost her a spot at the Athens Games. Lolo, a former state champion sprinter and hurdler from Des Moines, Iowa, had a breakthrough year in 2006 and won her first national title in 2007.
Lolo was peaking at the right time, having earned her spot of the 2008 U.S. team with the fastest time in the world during the qualifying finals. The 100 meter hurdles finals were Tuesday night in the magnificent Bird's Nest Stadium. She went up against two other U.S. team members: Damu Cherry and Dawn Harper.
Lolo's roots are a mix of Norwegian, French, German, Irish, American Indian and African American. She tells people she is black and white. The 26 year old is from a family of six children who were at one time homeless and living in a church basement while their father was in jail.
Jones believed that winning a gold medal at Beijing would be a life changing experience for her. It would have surely establish the athlete as the new face of the sport, like her predecessors Florence Griffith-Joyner, Gail Devers and Marion Jones. Her goal, though, is simpler:
"I've been watching the Olympics since I was a little kid, and honestly, I would just like to inspire someone out there. Our sport has been thrown in the garbage the last couple of years, with drugs and the attitude of some athletes. I know I can reach somebody and I just want to do it in a positive way."
Unfortunately it wasn't to be. The hurdler faltered and her teammate Dawn Harper took GOLD - photos here.
More photos below.