American track star Lolo Jones has no plans to retire anytime soon, and she is hopeful for a shot at a medal at the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, according to NBCOlympics.com via the AP's Pat Graham.
Jones on her motivation to return in 2016, per the AP report: "Last night, Gail Devers called me and said she was...37 when she got her last medal."
For as brave and determined as this decision makes Jones look, there is simply no denying that she will fall short in her effort to land on the podium in the women's hurdles four years from now.
I can't say that I have witnessed many successful 34-year-old track runners at the Games, and that's how old Jones will be by the time Rio rolls around.
It's perfectly acceptable that she wants to go out on top and that she feels like she could have done better in 2008 and 2012, but at some point the brain has to introduce the heart to reality.
If 2008 was unlucky and 2012 was unfortunate, then 2016 will be utter failure.
Will Lolo Jones be hurdling at the 2016 Games?
Her two biggest threats in her specialty event, Sally Pearson and Dawn Harper, will be 29 and 32 (respectively) in 2016, meaning that even if Jones can make the U.S. Olympic track and field team and qualify for the women's 100-meter hurdles final, she will still be a long shot for the podium.
I understand that a fourth-place finish at the Olympic Games is difficult to go out on, but Jones is not your average female hurdler. She is a celebrity.
Jones has plenty of sponsors to fall back on, and she could save herself the heartache of another Olympic disappointment by walking away from the sport right now.
She can simply acknowledge her shortcomings on the big stage and thank the fans for their support over the years. It's been a great ride and an awesome story with a what if ending.
I get it; Lolo Jones wants to prove to the world and herself that she is an Olympic champion. But no matter how long she battles to stay relevant in the sport, Jones will always just be an Olympic celebrity.
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