In the last two years, no athlete has been as maligned as Lolo Jones. Her most recent experience on Dancing with the Stars only added to such woes. After Meryl Davis earned first place in the previous season of DWTS, Jones was hoping to carry in her momentum. Of note, Davis and Jones were both members of the United States contingent that participated in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Sadly, such momentum was not meant to be.
After suffering so much heartbreak in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games, the world-class hurdler was hoping that 2014 year would provide redemption. Qualifying for the US Bobsled Team, it had the potential for a remarkable comeback. Instead, she had to settle for an eleventh-place finish.
Her motivation to appear on DWTS was the chance to prove how hard she worked while hoping a good performance would stop the haters from teasing her. With due deference to Jones, it almost seemed like a no-win situation.
While she has openly talked about not trying to appear sexy, the reality is that she is a beautiful and stunning woman. Considering the outfits that some of the competitors on DWTS wear, her appeal would certainly have emanated. In addition, she would have gained criticism from her haters the moment that she would have faced elimination. Even if she would have won, the haters would have said it was not as important as an Olympic gold medal.
Sadly, ever since Jones admitted to abstaining from intimate relations until marriage two years ago, it has become a topic of gossip that has made the devout Christian a target for unfair ridicule. Obviously, the strain of her choice to remain a virgin along with the frustrations of losing has created in a tragic sense of shame and embarrassment.
The humiliation of the DWTS loss was compounded by the fact that she was the first competitor to be eliminated. Considering that the other competitor up for elimination was 72 years old (and she had the lowest score), it certainly looks unfair for Jones.
With partner Keo Motsepe, the two danced a Cha Cha which resulted in a stiff performance that received very low marks. Of note, Jones called her own performance “awful.” She would also comment afterwards that she had flashbacks of the three Olympics, and in between dances, she was in tears. Although she did not look surprised that she was going home, she was gracious in defeat, signs of a great athlete.
Pouring her emotions in a message on social media, the theme was that she was sick of being a loser. Although she may have been hard on herself by stating that she felt broken, unlovable and embarrassed, she is such an accomplished, world-class athlete, that she is no way a loser. With hopes of returning to the track at the 2016 Rio Summer Games, Jones certainly needs a boost to her confidence.
Whether that comes in the way of a relationship or a sports psychologist that can help her regain her mojo, it is unfair for any hater to define her life by a series of sporting events that are only a small fraction of the bigger picture. Despite being in a difficult place, Jones is an inspiration for others that are suffering from personal struggles. Although bad things do happen to good people, it is how quickly one can bounce back that defines them.