Lolo Jones: Twitter Controversy Should Not Overshadow Great Story of Redemption

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 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 has been making plenty of headlines for the London Olympics, but so far it has been for all of the wrong reasons.

Despite the fact that her competition does not take place for another week, the track star has been the third-most searched Olympic athlete, according to Yahoo.

A big reason is that after the first day of competition, Jones discussed the U.S. archery team's loss to Italy on Twitter. However, she also notes that Americans are especially good at using guns.


USA Men's Archery lost the gold medal to Italy but that's ok, we are Americans... When's da Gun shooting competition?

— Lolo Jones (@lolojones) July 28, 2012


Critics have been in uproar about the tweet, saying the timing was insensitive following the tragedy that took place in Aurora, Colo. While it was a poor decision on the athlete's part, this should not be the focus of the games.

Instead, people should focus on the incredible journey that Jones has gone through to get to this point.

After being a favorite to win the 100-meter hurdles in the 2008 Olympics at Beijing, the Iowa native tripped on one of the final jumps and fell to seventh place. She was leading at the time, but one mistake cost her something she had trained her entire life for.

In the coming years, disappointment continued to the point that it seemed her career was close to over. She did not even reach the finals of her main event at the U.S. Outdoor Championships in 2011. According to her Olympic bio, doctors discovered after the championships that she had a tethered spinal cord.

After surgery, Jones finally recovered to the point that she earned the final spot on the Olympic team.

Now she looks to redeem herself from a disappointing 2008 games and the years that followed. Simply getting to this point is impressive, but a medal would make this one of the best comeback stories of the year.

Lolo Jones should be celebrated as a great Olympian, not vilified for her mistakes on social media. 

She has earned a second chance on the track. The fans should give her a second chance off of it.