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Lolo Jones Research Paper

Page history last edited by gracie 8 years, 3 months ago


Gracie Danziger

Mr. Kabodian

Research Paper

29 February 2016

                                                                                                                Inspired by Failure


                                                                                                                    By, Gracie Danziger



    "Take joy in the little things.” – Lolo Jones

     What is your passion? Do you have the drive to follow it? Olympic hurdler Lori “Lolo” Jones is the most driven person I’ve ever heard of. She has had her fair share of hardships and success. Jones went to the Olympics 3 times and at one point was the best in the world, in addition to hurdles she became a bobsled gold medalist. She has an intriguing story, starting with poverty and ending in fame. Lolo Jones needed integrity, good character, and strong moral values to keep her eyes on the prize.

      Lolo was born August 5, 1982. She is French-Native American-African American and has beautiful green eyes. Her parents are Lori and James Jones. Her hometown is Des Moines, IA, but is living now in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She excelled through high school and graduated from Louisiana State University in 2005.

      Jones stated once in an interview that she wouldn’t be where she was today without her mother. Watching firsthand the constant struggle to just survive was almost all the inspiration she needed. But there was something more, that extra push Lolo must’ve had. That was simply the drive to get a scholarship to get out of poverty. Jones would frequently say, “When I would get tired, I would just remind myself to keep going because this was the only way.” Lori Jones first started running because they didn’t have a car, or to just keep warm. Also her elementary school started a mileage club that helped her develop a passion for running. “Running was a friend that never went away”, Lori often remarked.  In high school no one would do hurdles, so Lolo had to step up and meet the challenge head on. Her first experience was at drake track met, where her hunt for success first started. From then on she was a workout fanatic. She worked for 4 hours everyday for 12 years to make it to the Olympics. In her first attempt at making the Olympic team, she failed. This did not have any effect on her dream or passion for the sport. In fact, she gained mental toughness, and the ability to overcome adversity. As a kid Lolo faced great poverty. Her family had to move into a basement of a church. Her father was in and out of prison, and her mom was homeless with 5 children to provide for. They had moved 8 times, and she had been in 8 different schools. As soon as her family was about to move for the 9th time, she told her mother that she wanted to pursue her dream and wouldn't move to a city without a track. Her high school coach, Ferguson, made arrangements for her to stay with different families so she could practice.  Another huge motivator for Jones was Kim Carson. She was a former Olympic athlete who went to the same college as Lolo. Her mom wasn’t able to watch any of her races because of work. By 6th grade she was a professional shop lifter. She wasn’t like most girls stealing makeup and accessories but just food to survive. Lolo was prone to injury also. Throughout her whole career, she had 2 hamstring tears, spinal surgery, and a shoulder injury. During those times she had to “always be grateful.” “Not by my own strength but God's, if He chooses to bless me than all the glory goes to Him.”

     Lolo Jones never won any gold medals for track. But she was the USA indoor champ in 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2003. In 2004 and 2006 she was the runner-up. She was an 11-time All-American and at her high school, and she held a record there too. Her personal record (the world record) was at Stuttgart in 2006, where she ran the 100 meter hurdles in 11.24 seconds. She has gone to 2014, 2008 and 2002 Olympic Games.  In the 2008 Olympic Games, at the beginning of the race, Lolo and 2 other American athletes lined up. Before this the paparazzi, reporters and news stations were buzzing about how Lolo Jones was going to win and bring back the gold. But Lolo was humble and said “It’s the hurdles! Anything can happen!” As she was warming up for the race, her heel had hit the hurdle and she stumbled. This only happens once or twice a year. Lolo took this as a good sign and thought that she was going at a faster pace than usual. The starter cocked his gun, the Olympians got in there positions, and just like that they were off, exploding off the starting blocks and sprinting to the finish. During the middle of the race she got in her rhythm and everything was clicking “like a golden road”, Jones told a reporter afterwards. Suddenly she felt her heel connect to the 2nd to last hurdle and that slowed her down just enough from finishing 1st to finishing 7th. Usually Lolo loves pressure, but this was different. There was so much stress for the Americans to bring back the gold that she broke. Lolo couldn't take that much pressure on her shoulders and failed to achieve her dream. Afterwards there were so many haters on the internet, saying she’s no good and failed. They clamed she stole the glory from other Americans because she was close enough to being white that all of the paparazzi wanted to know about her. But Jones knew she had to stay strong, to focus on the little victories. “No one can take away your joys and how hard you’ve worked.” Dreams were the only thing she was riding on. Lolo didn’t know when she would get paid or succeed. Lolo fought many injuries and didn't have the passion to return. What can she do now? A friend dropped the thought into Jone's head that she would make a great bobsledder. Sure enough Lolo turned her focus to bobsled and became a gold medalist! "You will fail, just adjust your attitude", became Lolo's motto.

     Lolo Jones made a difference in the world by encouraging young female athletes to overcome failure. Many athletes have been inspired because of Lolo to go the extra mile, to not stop when you think you're tired, and to keep striving to be the best. Lolo has shown that you can change your future no matter what anyone tells you. She has also made the sport more well known and inspired young people to try track. "The main thing you need to have is determination." Lolo Jones strongly believes in staying a virgin until marriage. She has lived by that her whole life and is still living it at age 35, devoting her life to Christ.

      Lori had the strength, passion, drive, inspiration and determination to make her great. We can all learn from her by putting those attributes into the little things we do everyday. She teaches us to overcome the "hurdles" that life throws at you. Lolo has changed the way people view track and the Olympics in general, just by her background and her sophisticated manner in overcoming adversity. Imagine the responsibility of being the only one in your family to go to college, or being one of only 35 humans in the 20th and 21st centuries to compete in both the summer and winter Olympics.








Athlete Web Design  “About Lolo” Lolo Jones Official Website 2016 web. 2016

      2/25/16  http://lolojonesusa.com/


Biography.com Editors “Lolo Jones Biography” The biography.com website  A&E Television Networks unknown date published

      2/25/16 http://www.biography.com/people/lolo-jones-200881623



“Lolo Jones Running Towards 4th Olympics Appearance” CBS This Morning CBS Interactive January 5, 2016

     12/25/16 <http://www.cbsnews,com/news/lolo-jonese-track-field-bobsledder-rio-2016-summer-olympics/



Wikipedia contributors “Lolo Jones” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 26 Febuary 2016 web.

      2/27/16  <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/lolo-jones>







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