February 3

Lolo Jones back at Olympics, savoring the moment

As a hurdler, she was always alone, often feeling unwanted. As a bobsledder, she’s never alone – her teammates go just about anywhere she does.

By Tim Reynolds
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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U.S. bobsled brakeman Lolo Jones, left, gestures to teammate, pilot Elana Meyers, during a television interview as the pair arrive at the 2014 Winter Olympics recently in Sochi, Russia.

The Associated Press

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In this Oct. 25, 2013, photo, Jazmine Fenlator, right, and Lolo Jones catch their breath after a heat in the U.S. women’s bobsled team Olympic trials in Park City, Utah. Jones is one of three athletes picked to push sleds in Sochi. The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation has gotten a number of complaints suggesting that it chose Jones because of her popularity.

The Associated Press

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On Monday, Jones was doing more laughing and smiling than crying.

She was joking with Elana Meyers, one of the three pilots, on her walk to the media center about how if it hadn’t been for falling short in Beijing and London, she wouldn’t be in Sochi. Jones went to Lake Placid looking to escape her Olympic troubles, not thinking about a new Olympic path, and it was Meyers and fellow pilot Jazmine Fenlator who were among the first to befriend the hurdler.

Jones was depressed, underweight after not really eating for a month or so after London, and in desperate need of change. Fenlator didn’t even recognize Jones, thinking instead she was a distance runner because of her much leaner-than-usual build at the time.

“I mean, I have legit stats or whatever but sometimes you kind of forget those especially if you get thrown under the bus so many times in the media,” Jones said. “I’ve even been thrown under the bus by my teammates in track and field. So to go into the training center and they barely knew me and they kind of just took me under their wing and were like, ‘No, you’re one of us.’”

That’s when the tears started to fall.

Make no mistake: These Olympics mean plenty to Jones.

“I truly believe that your greatest failures or mishaps in life can have the best motivation for you to do something amazing,” Jones said. “I’ve just kind of taken that stance and that’s really why I feel like I’m here as a bobsled athlete. I’m not willing to give up.”

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