The quest for redemption in sports can make or break an athlete. Things get even trickier when you are talking about an Olympic athlete, because they only have one opportunity every four years to showcase their abilities on this incredible worldwide stage.
Lolo Jones is on the verge of getting her shot at an Olympic gold medal after it was unceremoniously taken away from her four years ago when she clipped a hurdle in the 100-meter hurdles after leading for most of the race.
Jones wound up finishing seventh in that race. Afterwards, she tried to stay positive (via Associated Press h/t ESPN) after such a heartbreaking ending.
"It was like racing a car at max velocity. When you hit a curve, you either maintain control or you crash and burn," Jones said. "Today, I crashed and burned. I'm shocked and sad. But I'm happy for the girls."
"You hit a hurdle about twice a year where it affects your race," Jones said. "It's just a shame that it happened on the biggest race of my life."
All of that anguish has been festering for four years, leading to this moment in London. Jones still has to make it through the semifinals before she gets her shot at an Olympic gold, but given her stellar first-round time of 12.68 seconds, odds are certainly in her favor.
While nothing is set in stone, Jones' focus, determination and talent seems enough to push her into the field.
Once Jones gets there, as we all know, anything can happen. While I can't bring myself to say that she will win the gold medal, simply because Australia's Sally Pearson has been so good in qualifying that it would be foolish to bet against her.
That said, Jones has certainly put herself in that small group after Pearson ready to battle for silver and bronze.
Even with all the competition Jones will face from the likes of Dawn Harper, Nevin Yanit and Alina Talay, her four-year journey to get an Olympic medal will be complete.
In fact, I can go out on a not-so-long limb and say that Jones will win the silver medal. She wants this moment more than anything, and it will not pass without her standing triumphant.