Lolo Jones: Olympian Will Face More Pressure Than Any Pro Athlete Can Imagine
Game 7 is child’s play.
Professional athletes in the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL think they know pressure—playing in a championship game, win or go home, all eyes on them. They know nothing. What Lolo Jones and other Olympians will face in the 2012 Summer Olympics will trigger more anxiety than what Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Joe Montana ever overcame in the most pressure-packed performances of their careers.
After the NBA Finals concluded, Skip Bayless claimed the following on ESPN First Take: “There has never been a star under more pressure going into a championship series or game than LeBron James was under.”
Now, Bayless wasn’t thinking outside the NBA stratosphere, but let’s compare LeBron’s circumstances to Lolo’s.
James left Cleveland and turned an entire city against him. He threw a party and turning an entire nation against him. And he lost the previous championship. Seems pretty rough, huh? Again, such a stage would be relief for Jones.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she was favored to win the 100-meter hurdles. In the final race, Jones exploded into first place only to trip on the ninth hurdle of the 10 that stood between her and her first gold medal. Now, Jones is 29 years old and will have one last shot to win the competition that she’s been training for her entire life.
Bryce Miller of the USA Today reported that Jones talked about the tremendous pressure she's facing after securing a spot on Team USA. She said: "'I had my sports psychologist on speed dial one, my pastor on speed dial two and my mom on speed dial three [...]. It was crazy.'"
Will Lolo win gold in London?
As nerve-racking as Jones’ situation sounds, it's commonplace for Olympians. They train for decades to get one, two or, if they’re lucky, three shots at a gold medal.
If the Miami Heat would’ve lost the NBA Finals, what would’ve happened to LeBron? He would’ve just tried again next season. If Lolo loses, her Olympic dreams will be destroyed.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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