Lolo Jones: Why the Track Star's Celebrity Will Skyrocket in London

David LevinSenior Writer IIJuly 25, 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

Lolo Jones’ star is shining bright right about now. As a member of the United States Olympic team and one of the favorites in the 100-meter hurdles, Jones is one of the most talked about gold-medal hopefuls at the London Games.

I guess that is what happens when you talk about training, your personal life and make a Tim Tebow reference. Undoubtedly, these three things will cause a stir and gain a little attention.

For Jones, 29, who was a participant in the 2008 Olympics, but did not take home the gold, any little bit helps in getting her name out there.

Since 2008, while Dawn Harper may have claimed gold in the event, it is Jones who has been skyrocketing in popularity. And if the favored American can pull off winning the gold medal, her celebrity will grow even more.

Sometimes, it is better to chase the dream than have it be short-lived.

Jones' accomplishments on the track are as amazing as her stories of growing up. As noted in a story in the Indianapolis Star (, she has had periods of homelessness while her family lived in a church basement at a Salvation Army in Des Moines.

She has talked about shoplifting as a child to fight off hunger pains, shared details about a father who shuffled in and out of jail and even announced earlier on social media giant Twitter that she has remained a virgin.

Those things have made her iconic.

It may have also helped to motivate her to the plateau she is at right now in her life and career. Her accomplishments on the track stem back to 2004 when she was an NCAA champion at Louisiana State University, was the 2004 Olympic Trials champion and has been crowned twice as a world indoor champ.

Not bad for someone from such humbling beginning and triumphs.

The United States has always prided itself on having superior track and field stars on both the men and women’s side. Olympic medals won by Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Florence Griffith Joyner and Marion Jones will forever be remembered for their strength and dominance.

Jones has that opportunity now. And because we have followed other Olympians such as Michael Phelps, Amanda Beard and the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team closely as idols, it seems only logical that we follow someone who is so open about themselves in this day of social media and public awareness.

Lolo Jones is the present and future standard of Olympic greatness. Since her life story is just as interesting as her ability to claim gold, she will be able to bask in the success, possibly as long as 2016, when she could make history again.