Why Lolo Jones Has More Pressure Than Any Other American at 2012 Olympics

Zack Alspaugh@AlspaughZaContributor IIIJune 26, 2012

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 23:  Lolo Jones reacts after qualifying for 2012 Olympics after coming in third in the women's 100 meter hurdles final during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 23, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the massive amount of media surrounding the track star Lolo Jones, she has a lot to prove in this summer's Olympics.

The 100-meter hurdles champion made a splash in headlines when she announced "remaining a virgin is harder than training for the Olympics," and she continues to remain in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Monday night she divulged to Jay Leno and late-night TV audiences her struggles to find a date and how she wants to take Tim Tebow to church.

But instead of trying paying attention to the Tebow media circus, which is already knee-deep in a Rex Ryan soap-opera special in New York, Jones should be focused on the Olympics. Because coming home medal-less again will ache more than any date rejection.

In Beijing, Jones had just pulled ahead with 20 meters to go when her trailing leg grazed the hurdle and she staggered into disaster instead of the realm of gold. Her colossal mishap might have been as cataclysmic of a sports moment as the Leon Lett's fumble in Super Bowl in XXVII or J.R. Hildebrand crashing into the wall when he saw the checkered flag in the Indy 500.

The two-time indoor hurdles gold medalist "finally caught up to her hype" (h/t CBS Sports) as she edged out a spot on the U.S. Olympic team at the track qualifiers in Eugene, Ore., earlier in the week. Now, she moves from the watch of track fanatics to the world stage, and failure is not an option. 

Forget Game 7, the two-minute warning or a prize fight final round. Forget LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo or even Michael Phelps. Lolo Jones is under the most pressure of any athlete in London or the sports world.

At age 29 this may be her last chance at Olympic gold, her last chance at achieving her life long dream, a final shot at justifying her abstinent dedication, make or break for redemption.

Will Jones' name go into the annals of U.S. Olympic lore as a track champion like Jesse Owens or tragic disappointment like Bode Miller?

She told the Associated Press "I'm still the world's fastest hurdler." The 2012 Olympics will be her chance to prove it.  


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