Twenty four hours after getting ripped to shreds by the New York Times, Lolo Jones came out with something to prove in Monday morning’s women's 100-meter hurdles.
How did she do? Pretty well, actually.
When it was all said and done, Jones won the final heat of the day in 12.68 seconds – good enough to earn a spot for herself in Tuesday’s semifinals.
Far more interesting than Jones’ qualification for the next round, though, was what she said after making the cut (note: the sound sucks, but it was still really cool of whoever put this up to put it up).
Here is what Jones was responding to in that emotional clip (via NYT):
Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorse.
Women have struggled for decades to be appreciated as athletes. For the first time at these Games, every competing nation has sent a female participant. But Jones is not assured enough with her hurdling or her compelling story of perseverance. So she has played into the persistent, demeaning notion that women are worthy as athletes only if they have sex appeal. And, too often, the news media have played right along with her.
There was more to the piece, but that's the gist of it.
Needless to say, if Jones keeps winning, the whole she’s-Anna Kournikova-Part-Two argument sort of falls apart.
(Kudos USA Today)