Lolo Jones secured her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team for women’s track after coming in third in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday. Finishing in 12.86 seconds, this will be Jones’ second Olympic competition.
A true Olympian on and off the field, Jones overcame back surgery in August and a slew of hamstring injuries to fight for the chance to represent her country in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Like every all-star athlete, Jones had an entourage of support, including a sports psychologist, pastor and her mother, all on speed dial prior to the weekend Olympic Trials.
“ I was fighting a constant head battle trying to find the confidence,” Jones was quoted as saying after a disappointing prelim performance. Speaking openly about the struggle athletes face within themselves and the public, Jones described the pressure surrounding the weekend as “crazy.”
Grateful for another shot at the Olympic games, Jones’ humble reputation precedes her. A survivor of a tumultuous childhood and meager beginnings, Jones has employed her inner and outer strength to rise to the glory of Olympic team and world athlete triumph.
Despite a heart-breaking fall at the ninth hurdle (of 10) in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, causing her seventh place finish in the 100-meter hurdle event, she went on to win silver in the 2008 World Athletics Final and set the record for 60-meter hurdles at 7.72 seconds.
The world-class athlete and college graduate has been quite candid about her personal life, serving as a role model for young people everywhere. In the 2012 HBO series Real Sports, Jones acknowledged the challenges of staying true to oneself and one’s principles while broadcasting support for her like-minded peers and fans.
“If there’s virgins out there, I’m going to let them know, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life — harder than training for the Olympics, harder than graduating from college, has been to stay a virgin before marriage,” she said in the HBO interview.
Popular for her rich multicultural heritage—including Native American, African, French and Norwegian ancestry—devotion to the Evangelical Church and athletic talent, Jones is a favorite for this year’s 2012 Olympic Games in London.