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Team Lolo

by Meghann on August 8, 2012

Can I just say how much I love Lolo Jones?

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I was a fan before, but I think I’m an even bigger fan after watching her interview on the Today Show.

I missed the finals for the 100-meter hurdles last night and only watched the race when I jumped on the treadmill and turned on the Today Show this morning. Lolo took 4th in the fastest 100-meter hurdles final in Olympic history. Only barely missing a medal by one-tenth of a second, still posting an incredible time and earning her place as the 4th fastest 100-meter hurdler in the world.

Four years ago in Beijing, Lolo missed the podium by famously clipping a hurdle and placing 8th in the race. London was marketed as her redemption run, and if you ask me, she earned that redemption. She didn’t earn a medal, but she ran a solid race and truly gave it all she had.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the potential impact social media may have on these Olympic games, and boy did I underestimate what that might be. I was thinking that it would be fun to follow the Olympian’s personal journeys (which it has been), but I guess I overlooked the negative impact as well.

After opening herself up so much on twitter (if you don’t follow @LoloJones, you should), the backlash began as soon as she came in fourth. I’m sorry, the backlash started before that with a few critics telling her she was all hype and no follow through. It erupted after last night when she failed to place.

Sometimes I think we’re so focused on winning and earning medals, that we forget just making it to the Olympics and having a chance to compete with the best in the world is an honor in itself. There was a great video I watched the other day on Facebook (I can’t find the link), going off on the NBC announcers for stating the “American girls” came up short in the Olympic Marathon. Ummm… hello? They finished in the Top 11 in the race. Both Kara and Shalane ran incredible races and obviously left everything they had on the road.

I like what Lolo had to say in the interview, we should be supporting our athletes in London, not criticizing them. They’ve all fought long and hard and earned every right to be there.

On another social media note, what’s with all the hoopla over Gabby Douglas’ hair? I find it fascinating that Gabby wins gold and tweets criticizing her hair were trending. To make it even worse, the big news topic the next day wasn’t that Gabby was the first black woman to ever take gold in the Olympic gymnastic all-around competition, but that her hair was trending on twitter during her performance. What the heck? Come on, people!

Alright, rant over.

Let’s have some food.

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I did some intervals on the treadmill this morning, then moved to the free weights for some lifting. After the gym I made a bowl of greek yogurt with fresh peach, a handful of granola, and walnuts.

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Have you seen anything interesting pop-up in social media land with the Olympics? Share below.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda August 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

That’s pretty pathetic that people care more about Gabby’s hair than her performance. I’ve stayed away from Twitter (my bf occasionally updates me if there’s something funny or genuinely interesting) for this particular reason: I refuse to waste my time reading other people’s nonsense that have no effect on my life. Ok, rant over (your rant inspired mine).
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2 Cait's Plate August 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

I know – it’s so sad. As great as social media can be, when used improperly, it can also be so so horrible. It’s sad that people feel the need to tear others down.
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3 helen August 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

There has been so much negativity towards some of the British athletes on Twitter and in the media over here – from trolls talking about Tom Daley’s father who lost his battle with a brain tumor last year, to famous “comedians” commenting on Becky Adlington’s appearance. BBC commentators and interviewers have been slammed for how negative they have been towards anyone from team GB who didn’t win gold – saying that silver or bronze was a disappointment. Terrible.

BTW Your lady marathoners ran great races and I hope your nation is proud of them. What a way to represent! Such inspiring women.
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4 Kristy Doyle August 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

Did you see this quote from Gabby Douglas’ mom?

“She has to go out there and feel good about herself, and if she feels good about herself on that floor, who are you to criticize her? What have you done to help contribute to her dream, that you felt it necessary to put it out there so that she could see it?”

I wanted to stand up and cheer for her when I read this quote.
Kristy Doyle recently posted..Half Marathon Training and Can women’s world records catch up with men’s?

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5 Reenie August 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Way to go Gabby’s Mom. I too was puzzled about the reports about her hair. WTF!!! What’s wrong with her hair? She has it pulled back in a p0ny ~ pulled back thru and clips in it to hold it down. What’s so diff about that? I don’t get it, and it really made me mad that she had to see that crap on the internet.

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6 Diana @run4life August 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

I had almost the same breakfast but with leftover cold sweet potato thrown into the mix (random but an awesome addition). The other big problem with social media is that it’s been almost impossible to avoid spoiler alerts. I actually managed to stay off facebook and twitter yesterday and was surprised at the gymnastic event finals. So much more fun to watch when you don’t already know what happens!
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7 Melody August 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

I remember in 2008 the Phelps family told NBC it was the media that pressured Michael to win 8 golds not Michael. At that moment Matt Lauer realized what he & his colleagues had done.
You would think that lesson would stick. Sadly, it didn’t. People’s turmoil or misfortune makes news not their achievements. ????

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8 Elisabeth August 8, 2012 at 10:58 am

That right there is exactly why I have nothing to do with social media (and don’t plan to) – no Twitter or Facebook for me.

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9 Lindsay August 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

I was interested to read this because I was listening to this NPR story yesterday about how the reception of failing/non-medaling Chinese Olympians has changed in China since the Beijing Olympics, largely due to the Western influence in the media and social media available in China. The story noted that while the Chinese were quick to criticize and harsh in their commentary about olympians who failed to win gold last Olympics, this time around they’ve learned from the example of American and Western culture, where the performance and the story of the athletes is really what matters, not the medal. Obviously we still have some more work to do in living up to our own example. But I will say that the NY Times article about Lolo was probably more a criticism of NBC and its coverage of the Olympics than meant as a personal attack on Lolo, and also not every athlete deserves a positive story! (I’m thinking specifically of Ryan Lochte’s off-the-deck antics) Finally, I just don’t get the comments about Gabby Douglas’s hair. I thought she looked fabulous, and commentary about her appearance is just unfair and hurtful, especially for a 16 year old girl.

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10 Beth (Running with the Sunrise) August 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

I hate, hate, hate it when people get all negative and personal with athletes and blame them when they don’t medal. Our Olympic athletes have trained their butts off for years to get to the point where they can represent our country at the Olympics. We should be thankful of all of the effort that they put in to represent our country, not disappointed when they don’t get the gold (or silver or bronze). Besides, it wouldn’t really be fair if the US won *all* of the medals.
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11 Margo August 8, 2012 at 11:37 am

I totally agree that just making it to the Olympics should be celebrated. With the marathon, I was a little disgusted how many reports said that Goucher and Flanagan “came up short” or that it was a “US misfire.” Seriously? They both ran incredible races and are still the top American women marathoners. I find them, and all the Olympic athletes, to be a huge inspiration!
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12 Alex August 8, 2012 at 11:43 am

My boyfriend and I had this exact conversation during the Olympics last night and the criticism that revolves around these athletes. I think the fact is – people love to criticize. It’s not just the Olympians who are attacked, it’s everyone who is in the media. They are attacked, rather than praised for their hardwork and determination that it took to get where they are today. I think criticism based on success is a common theme that we can trace throughout all ages or types of success – now it can just be broadcasted on a large platform (with social media). It is really unfortunate that it is something that is so prominent!

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13 Rebecca August 8, 2012 at 11:46 am

umm, ya..for those who are giving her negative comments probably have no idea what they are talking about. That 100mH final was fierce. Although Sally was almost for sure going to win (unless she clipped a hurdle), 2nd, 3rd and all the rest could have gone any other way. Those 8 ladies had one of the best hurdling line-ups in quite some time.

The sprint races go by so fast that all it takes is a little something to go wrong for you to not place. Regardless the women there last night were all superb hurdlers and as I said before, anything could have happened.

Anyone who does criticize (who is not a world-class athlete or coach) has no business saying she is all hype and no follow through. Otherwise, grab your spikes and spandex and we will see if you can even complete one of my hurdle workouts :-)

k, rant over!
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14 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats August 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

I completely agree. My brother was saying how awful that must be for the young girls doing gymnastics to not medal (he was referring to any country), and I said are you kidding!? They got to go to the Olympics!!! That’s huge!
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15 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed August 8, 2012 at 11:58 am

my post yesterday was how I was disgusted with this nonsense, it’s simply ridiculous.
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16 Rachel Wilkerson August 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

I saw Lolo on “Today” this morning too, and didn’t blame her for breaking down like that. The NYT article about her earlier this week was SO nasty and felt like a personal attack on her, rather than a criticism of the companies who offer endorsements to athletes (which would have made for an interesting article I think). Gawker had a great response that really broke down all the ways that article sucked. (http://gawker.com/5931911/what-did-lolo-jones-ever-do-to-the-new-york-times?tag=london2012)

On the one hand, after seeing Kellie Wells and Dawn Harper on TV this morning, I can absolutely see that it’s kind of unfair they don’t have as big of endorsements — they are both fierce athletes, charming & beautiful women (which apparently matters), have compelling stories (hearing about how Kellie was raped as a teenager had me tearing up; she also had to take time off for a broken arm this year), AND they are winners. I think it’s fair to ask why they are overlooked for endorsements and attention when they seem to have the total package and the titles. On the other hand, I don’t think putting all the emphasis on winning is a good idea at all. “It’s not whether you win or lose…” is a huge part of American culture, and I think Lolo Jones is popular because we like how she plays the game.

Anyway, yeah…the coverage of the Olympics and criticism of athletes has been kind of a cluster this year.
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17 jennyv August 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

What’s even worse? Lolo’s hometown paper’s (The Des Moines Register’s) headline today reads “Double Disappointment” as Lolo is from Des Moines and Gabby Douglas has trained at Chow’s in West Des Moines for the past two years. Pathetic! We Iowans have such pride in these awesome athletes and yet our own local media puts them down.

I have nothing but respect for two women who push themselves both physically an mentaly for a sport they love. Most people will never MAKE the Olympics, let alone be in contention for a Gold.

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18 steph August 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I definitely agree that the media puts too much emphasis on winning a medal (particularly gold)! Most of these athletes are so proud just to compete at the Olympics and represent their country at the top level of their sport! I saw a lot of athletes on the swimming events (since I watched it all) put out best times and great swims but because it wasn’t a gold medal, NBC would treat it as a huge disappointment. It’s silly.

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19 Emily N August 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I am team Kelley Wells. :) Not that I am not team Lolo, but I do love that Kelley!
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20 Kathy August 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I don’t twitter and guess I am glad for that during Gabby’s stuff….really tweets about her hair? I don’t get it? Bad ? Good? Too young? I really don’t even know how she had it done b/c I watched her jump, fly, twist, and land beautifully …..I wasn’t looking at her hair…ha! PEOPLE GET WITH IT….Worth the rant girl!

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21 TG August 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

There is a lot of heated cultural rhetoric and politics surrounding African American hair. It was mostly black women saying she hadn’t styled in properly. So. freaking. ridiculous. Her mom basically told everyone to STFU because she still had more competitions.

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22 TG August 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

*it

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23 Laura August 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I totally agree! We seem to be so obsessed with winning that we forget to revel in the fact that all of these people are world class athletes!
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24 TG August 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Great points about Olympic athletes. And you just KNOW those idiots tweeting about Gabby’s hair were sitting on their asses and probably can’t walk up the stairs without getting winded.

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25 Annette @FitnessPerks August 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I totally agree with you!! I think it’s SO sad that newscasters and other people in the country are bashing Olympians. I mean come on!!? I agree that it’s amazing that those people GET to the Olympics–they all work so hard.

I agree, Lolo is amazing!! No matter what people say.
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26 Jess August 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm

This is a total side note but I was thinking about your tired post from yesterday. So your breakfast after what sounds like a fairly intense workout, seems like just a recovery snack. I know you’re not really an egg person, but an egg or some sort of protein (more than Greek yogurt) will help you recover faster and help you have more energy. Maybe your body is trying to tell you that you’re not eating enough and is getting training fatigue.

Are you still working with that trainer? Or thought about getting your resting metabolism checked? That is so helpful to figure out exactly what your body needs.
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27 Meghann August 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Greek yogurt has just as much protein as an egg (actually I think it has more). Yes, it has more sugar than an egg, but the protein part of it isn’t an issue. :)

I’m not working with a trainer at the moment, and honestly my running and training have been way down compared to years past. My interval run today was only 30 minutes and I was switching between an 8.0 and a 4.0 (walking). I was pushing it, but not going full out by any means. And the weights were probably 15-20 minutes. It was a decent workout, but by no means a hard one.

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28 Ida August 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I thought lolo was being a total cry baby. She put herself out there as the pretty girl of track and field and she got a crap for it. If she wants the money that comes with doing interviews with magazines about her sex life then she needs to accept the negative consequences too. I do agree that the stuff about Gabby’s hair was ridiculous. FYI it’s ‘to make it even worse’, not WORST.

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29 Dana August 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I don’t blame Lolo Jones for making herself marketable and trying to make a living. I’ve seen several interviews where at times she could not afford to train for the Olympics. The endorsements helped her continue competing and training. Lolo Jones has capitalized off of her looks and natural talent. The comments about Gabby Douglas’s hair are coming from an opinionated community that is the minority in gymnastics. African Americans. Thus, most do not understand that all gymnasts hair looks like that. I get it, because I took gymnastics. Her hair looks fine and follows the rules that a gymnast has to abide by.
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30 Army Amy* August 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Anyone who is even a smidge in the public eye has to anticipate negativity. Social media makes it too easy for people to air their thoughts directly to the celebs themselves. People online can be nasty, but I don’t think that is anything new.*
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31 Heather August 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I LOVE Lolo and it breaks my heart she didn’t medal and even more than people are being so mean. She is an LSU grad, which is my team, and a great role model. I agree. Sometimes us at home get so caught up in who got 1-3rd we forget how freaking awesome these athletes are just to BE there, medal or no medal. I plan to post a bit on this as well probably on Friday, as it has been bothering me a bit. (OMG the Gabby hair thing makes me so sad. She is 16! leave her alone!)
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32 Kath August 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

What is WITH people these days? What ever happened to being nice?
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33 kim@hungryhealthygirl August 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Thanks so much for posting about the Lolo Jones interview. I went to it and watched. My really goes out to her and I agree that we should be supporting our Olympic athletes. Just because they don’t walk away with a medal should not discount all of their hard work and how amazing they truly are for making it to London.
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34 Stephanie @ My Freckled Life August 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I totally agree!! I think it is so ridiculous that some of these athletes are being critized for coming in 4th place, or heaven forbid in LAST at the Olympics. Umm, hello? They are still better than 99.9% of the entire planet, or else they wouldn’t have gotten there in the first place. It’s like the media forgets that they are people to who have sacrificed SO MUCH for this one moment (or few seconds if you’re a sprinter), and to be torn down for not matching our “standards” is both depressing and disgusting.
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35 Molly August 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I think Lolo is awesome. However, the criticism has SOME justification – there’s another American runner from near where I live – Dawn Harper. She also lived in poverty, and she won the gold in Beijing and the silver this year in the 100m hurdles. For some reason, she doesn’t get the big sponsorships or the press that Lolo gets. There’s some speculation that Lolo is using things like her looks and her “virginity” to market herself without the running career to back it up, and it’s hard to say that none of that is true when no one knows Dawn Johnson’s name despite her proving herself in the Olympics TWICE now.

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36 Molly August 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Also, all athletes get negative media pressure- Olympics, NFL, whatever. That’s not what made her race come up short of a medal.
After she lost the race, she simply walked off the track without giving any support to her American team-mates who had been more successful- Kind of lame.

Like I said, I like Lolo, but I’m getting a little frustrated with her attitude. Most people don’t get a single shot at a medal- she’s had two. She’s a great runner, but media presure or not, she had two chances to walk the walk after talking the talk, and she didn’t.

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37 Molly August 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm
38 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs August 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I definitely agree about the media being harsh on some of the athletes. It’s such an amazing accomplishment just to make it to the Olympics, and the media is certainly approaching some of the wins/losses in a very un-sportsmanlike manner.

While we’re on the topic of sportsmanship, what about Hope Solo saying that team USA made Christine Sinclair (captain of team Canada Soccer) look good, when in reality Sinclair just happened to play amazingly well, and got 3 goals on Solo? Not very classy…
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39 Holly August 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm

OK, I don’t comment often and I’m going to join this time to make a few points:
1. The US is one of the few countries in the Olympics who doesn’t pay our athletes to compete. They have to fund their own Olympics. Yes, most have sponsors, but unless you’re sponsored by an “official Olympic sponsor”, you can’t wear your sponsor’s logo or promote/thank them even if you win. I LOVE the twitter rebellion to this (especially in Track and Field) with non-athletes and non-sponsors tweeting the masses with who’s sponsoring the daily training of our winning athletes. (follow #noblackout #rule40 and/or #bsblackout)
2. If you’re worried about someone’s hair, you should be watching a make-over show not the Olympics. It’s not a beauty contest, it’s an athletic event. A very demanding, high pressure athletic event.

Ok, that’s my rant. And go Lolo- you’re still a champion!! :)
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40 Jill August 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I thought this was a great article about Lolo & the media: http://news.yahoo.com/lolo-jones-media-totally-had-back-191350882.html?_esi=1

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41 Jennifer August 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

“As a former competitive gymnast, former judge as well as a current coach I think the hair looked ridiculous. I am not taking ANYTHING away from her talent and achievements. I am thrilled that Gabby captured the Gold. In the world of gymnastics you are allowed to take a deduction for “general appearance”. Although vague, I would definitely notice the hair”.

The above is what my sister wrote in an on-line discussion with someone regarding the hair debate. Interesting perspective coming from someone who knows the sport so well.

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