Ever heard the saying, “Let your accomplishments speak for themselves?” Lolo Jones does just that but her accomplishments beyond her stunning athletic career speak the loudest of all. Jones is a three-time Olympian, three-time World Champion, and an American record holder in the 100-meter hurdles. She serves an inspiration for many, especially those who have overcome tough socio-economic challenges and personal setbacks to pursue their dreams.
From her humble beginnings as one of six children, whose single mother worked day and night to support her family while her father served in the Air Force, her schooling was often unpredictable and unstable. The one constant was her love for the track. She parted ways with her family when they decided to move once again. Her mentor, Coach Phil Ferguson, coordinated her living arrangements while she attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. “It takes a village to raise a child” holds true in this case; Jones was encouraged and supported by many in her community which set her up for a successful college career.
While excelling in the classroom, Jones also participated in multiple sports. By the time she left Louisiana State University she won three NCAA titles and received All-American honors a stunning 11 times. Jones is ranked among the top-three women all-time in both the 60-meter hurdles and 100-meter hurdles.
Jones dealt with heartbreak on the track in the most public way imaginable. In the finals of the 100-meter hurdles in the 2008 Olympics, she clipped a hurdle and literally fell from first place to seventh. Soon after, she was diagnosed with a spinal injury that caused her to lose her ability to feel some of her lower extremities. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t hold her back and she competed again and qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics. In 2014, Jones took a notable detour from her track career. She used her dynamic athleticism to qualify for the U.S. National Bobsled Team and even competed in the Winter Olympics that year. She is one of the few athletes to ever compete in both the summer and winter Games.
Lolo Jones is a legend who has remained humble amidst all of her success. She is outspoken about her faith and helps others through her Lolo Jones Foundation, whose mission is “to empower and inspire individuals who face the most socio-economical hardships to realize their full potential through engaging community programs and initiatives.” A social media icon, Jones can be found tweeting away posting both relatable content regarding hobbies and diet while also blowing us away with her athletic abilities. We admire Lolo Jones for all that she’s done as a role model in sports and for her continued work as a leader in life.
Photo Credits: Instagram, Pixabay