Lolo Jones Suffers The Agony Of Defeat But Serves As an Example to All

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Lolo Jones Suffers The Agony Of Defeat But Serves As an Example to All

She was the woman to beat in the 100 meter high hurdles and had long established herself as the worlds top hurdler.

It was a gimme, Lolo Jones had breezed to the final round as all eyes turned on her as analysts knowingly predicted a gold medal for the hurdler.

At the crack of the gun, she surged ahead with a convincing lead.

After clearing the 6th hurdle, I jumped up and down, barely able to contain myself as I shouted at the top of my lungs, "Champion of the world!"

In the stretch run for the last two hurdles with the pack behind her, Lolo Jones was so close to gold she could almost taste it.

I'd love to just end the article right now and say she won the gold in remarkable fashion by leaving her opponents in the dust, praising her for the blazing speed and quickness she showed in the race.

Any American would say the same thing.

But that was not meant to be.

My hopes, with millions of Americans along with the most heartbroken person in Beijing, Lolo Jones, were dashed.

On the 9th hurdle, she miscalscuated her steps and knocked the hurdle down, losing all momentum and any chance of victory as the swarm of hurdlers raced by.

Jones collapsed in emotions I could not even begin to describe to you in writing. The only words that can scratch the surface are abounding anger,mounting frustration, and deep sorrow.

I was stunned, unable to comprehend what had happened as Dawn Harper pranced around with the American flag draped over her shoulders.

I had hardly noticed that at all.

My eyes were fixated on a lone person, keeled over in such a state of sadness and grief, totally inconsolable.

It was a hopeless feeling as nothing I could do, or anyone else for that matter, would be able to change what had just happened.

As the watched the replay, I grimaced at that fateful 9th hurdle as I knew deep down that the pain and agony I was feeling was multiplied by a thousand for Lolo Jones.

She stood to her feet, and I was thinking, thats all she needs right now is a stinkin interview with some reporter asking what happened.

Thats exactly happened, but as she was answering the questions, Lolo offered no excuses or anything of the sort, saying that she "felt the gold around me" and that "If you can't clear all 10 hurdles, you can't be champion".

I thought, wow, I certainly wouldn't have said something like that.

As I took in one last look at Lolo Jones leaning against a wall inside the stadium, weeping inconsolable tears of despondency, I realized what an important example had been set for me that night.

When things don't seem to go our way, all of us have to realize that there's absolutely nothing we can do about it. Nothing!

When I miss a shot in a critical basketball game, I can moan and gripe all I want, but it isn't going to change anything.

So for you readers out there, I urge you to learn from the lesson that Lolo Jones has shown us all. As much it sucks and as hard as it is to swallow, cope with the failure and defeat that will come your way and realize that everyone screws up.

In the case of Lolo Jones, she had put countless hours of work in as the top female hurdler in the world. None of us can imagine the amount of running and conditioning she endured day after day, to claim that one gold medal.

You can say she choked and blew her one chance, but you cannot deny the fact that she holds the highest character of anyone in the Olympics, displaying the ultimate grace in defeat.

Everything happens for a reason in life, and I don't know why she couldn't have won.

But I do know this.

The failure and anger she has experienced and will continue to experience for many months will drive her to success. It will motivate her, knowing that she has a shot at redemption in 4 years in London.

She is 26, so that would put her at 30. Lolo claims to have another Olympics in her, and I know she does.

As I awoke bleary-eyed at 5 in the morning to watch the USA basketball game, the distinct images of Lolo were engraved in my mind.

With the droning of the TV and the USA pulling away, I began to drift off.

In my dreams, I relived the whole race over again as I could see Lolo crying against the wall.

But something strange happened.

I saw her race again, only this time on a different track, looking older with a determined look on her face.

Right as she crossed the finish line in 1st place, I awoke at that moment, and smiled.

I knew it had just been a dream, but I felt a strong feeling of hope and redemption, knowing that Lolo Jones could defy the odds and age and redeem herself once and for all.

Was my dream a forshadowing? I have no idea if it was or not, and most of you will dismiss it as a silly vision. While its possible that that is true, I can assure you of this : In four years at the London Games I will be watching the women's 100 meter hurdles.

I cannot guarantee that Lolo will be able to qualify for the Olympics again.

If she does, I will be closely watching. And when she crosses that finish line in 1st place, I'll smile the same way I smiled this morning, and truly say, "Champion of the World!"

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