One 100-meter hurdle race has caused quite the stir. The woman in fourth is torn up for being the target of media scrutiny, while those that actually medaled continue to disappear into mere footnotes in American sports history.
Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells placed second and third respectively in Tuesday night's 100-meter hurdle final.
They then sat down with Michelle Beadle and answered honestly to pointed questions on how the media has continued to push them aside for another story on the hurdle team.
From silver medalist, Dawn Harper:
… because their favorite didn’t win, we’re kind of going to push your story aside … it hurt my feelings … you kinda gotta respect it a little bit now.
From bronze medalist, Kellie Wells:
On the podium tonight, the three girls that got their medal prevailed, and that’s all that really needed to be said.
Those are honest answers to questions on the Lolo Jones elephant in the room. You may see two women who look like they feel slighted.
It seems more like they are being vindicated. Through all the training and hours upon hours of sacrifice, they finally have the spotlight...which was fleeting.
Thursday's TODAY Show featured the fourth place finisher in this race, Lolo Jones, where she ended up breaking down in tears.
Entertainment Weekly reports the reason Jones became so emotional, and it also has to do with media attention. Only, it's all about too much scrutiny and unwarranted criticism.
...the Olympic track and field athlete “has played into the persistent, demeaning notion that women are worthy as athletes only if they have sex appeal,” then quotes a professor who compares Jones to Anna Kournikova, “the former Russian tennis player whose looks received far more attention than her relatively meager skills.”
In a couple of years, most of you out there will remember a few names from the London Olympics, Lolo Jones will be among them. That fact has created a thunderstorm of buzz and an alleged rift among fellow hurdlers.
The odd point is I am in both camps on this one.
Jones has every right to break down on live TV after a New York Times article that was just brutal considering how competent Lolo Jones has looked as a hurdler this season.
She never asked for such Tim-Tebowesque coverage. The media decided a long time ago that she would be the face of the hurdles, not Jones.
However, I also agree Harper, Wells and other Olympians have been cast aside as nice little stories that will get face time in appetizer size.
It's a shame because, as Harper points out, they have some fantastic stories to tell.
Some may argue that Harper and Wells were too strong in their veiled frustration, but nobody else seems to be talking about them.
It's time they did.
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