(Credit: USA Today)
Lolo Jones, the gorgeous Olympic hurdler known more for her accolades in running than bobsledding, was named to the US Olympic bobsled team for the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. While competition for spots on the bobsled team is always fierce, and making the team isn’t easy, many people feel that Jones was awarded a spot on the team simply because of her fame and public image.
While this may or may not be 100% accurate, it is not outside the realm of possibility. Via USA Today:
When Jones was named to the bobsled team for Sochi on Sunday, most of those in the room were shocked. “It’s hard for me to name one or two athletes that would completely agree with that decision,” veteran brakeman Curt Tomasevicz said. Three bobsled teammates told USA TODAY Sports that Jones was given the third and final brakeman spot on the Olympic team because of her fame (and her followers). “I should have been working harder on gaining Twitter followers than gaining muscle mass,” said Emily Azevedo, who along with teammate Katie Eberling, was in the running for the spot Jones received. Eberling said there was an agenda to put Jones on the team. “I feel this year there was a certain agenda,” Eberling said. “It’s no fault of my teammates. There’s been a lot of inconsistencies and that makes you wonder what’s going on. It’s not right.”
While Olympic officials have denied that her popularity had anything to do with her selection, Jones’ teammates do have a point. The men’s bobsled team is a returning gold medal winner, and hardly any of the attention has gone to them because of the media firestorm around Lolo. If the women’s team fails to perform well, particularly Jones, I can only imagine the uproar that will take place. It doesn’t appear that Jones’ selection to be on the team was totally objective and fact-based since her teammates believe others were more deserving.
Hey, if I wasn’t interested in women’s bobsledding before, putting Lolo on the team has changed that. I will for sure be watching to see what comes of this situation when the smoke clears in Sochi.