For the uninitiated, Lolo Jones is an American track athlete who specializes in the 60 and 100m hurdles, but her story is also about overcoming hardships.

Jones didn’t have the easiest childhood. She was born on August 5, 1982. She attended eight schools in eight years while her single mother often held down two jobs to support her family of six. Jones’ father spent most of her childhood in the Air Force and later in state prison. When her family was about to make another move, Jones told her mother that she cannot go to a city that doesn’t have a track and that she was trying to pursue a dream. Jones and her family parted ways, and her mentor, Coach Ferguson, arranged for her to live with four different families during the rest of her time in high school.

At the 2012 Olympics, Jones finished fourth in the 100m hurdles. She is also a bobsled athlete and represented the USA at the Winter Olympics, making her one of the few athletes who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

She was nurtured as an athlete and became part of the small community that respected her interests in sports, after she left her family. Jones went on to enroll at Louisiana State University and competed in its track team, one of the best in the country.

In 2002, she came runner-up in both 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In 2003, Jones won the 60m Hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She was later part of the winning 4x100m team at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships. In the 2004 indoor campaign, she finished second at the NCAA Championships in both the 60m hurdles and 60m dash. Her career at LSU saw her finish as an 11-time All-American and a 6-time SEC champion, and she is ranked among the top-three women for all-time in both the 60m hurdles and 100m hurdles.

Jones in action at the hurdles
Jones in action at the hurdles

Career Highlights

  • Jones won her first national championship in 2007, winning the 60m hurdles at the USA Indoor Championships with a time of 7.88 seconds. In the European winter circuit, Jones won two meets and finished second in two others in the 60m hurdles.
  • At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Jones was favored to win the 100m hurdles. In the final, she was pulling away from the pack when she clipped the 9th hurdle (of 10) and stumbled, breaking stride to drop her back to a 7th-place finish.
  • At the London Olympics on August 6, Jones won her heat in the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.68s. On August 7, she placed third in the semifinals of the 100-meter hurdles, gaining progression to the finals. In the finals later that day Jones finished fourth with a time of 12.58s.
  • In 2015, in Costa Rica Jones won the NACAC Championships Women 100m Hurdles in 12.63s
  • Lolo, in layman’s terms is a total badass. A fierce, competitive, hardworking and super-talented athlete, who has inspired many young girls and boys.

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