It’s clearly evident who American marketers have chosen as the face of its 2012 Summer Olympic coverage — 100 meter hurdle specialist Lolo Jones.
Her story is irresistibly all-American. From rags to riches, trying her hardest to redeem her now infamous gaff at the 2008 Olympics, where Lolo tripped over the next to last hurdle, effectively opening the door for her teammate Dawn Harper to seize gold, to her recent inconsistent hurdling season, which has her currently ranked 13th in the world, there is no story in American track & field that, on the surface, is as intriguing as hers.
Raising her profile towards cult status, Lolo’s appearance on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel introduced the causal Olympic fan to the Iowa native and gave them an up-close look into her personality.
During the interview, Lolo revealed she’s chaste on behalf of her strong religious beliefs. Clearly, her handlers understand how much money Tim Tebow generates from his clean-cut Christian image because now Lolo’s receives more pop-culture coverage than sports stories.
Either way, Lolo will have to prove her merit this year, and nothing but a medal will suffice. And judging from how many female track athletes directly place their success on how much favor they receive from God, it seems that her talent will have to be the focal point — not her Evangelical leanings.
Commenting in the latest issue of Fitness about where she finds her strength to move past her Olympic misfortune and what she looks forward to this time around, Lolo says that her focus is not medaling:
“My focus is not even on a gold medal. It’s about me having the best possible race. I want to hold my head high and be able to say I put it all on the line.”
She is sounding more like Tim Tebow everyday.