Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

June 18, 2013

Lolo Jones’ attempt at humor backfires

DES MOINES, Iowa — Lolo Jones’ attempt at humor in a video that’s gone viral received a chilly reception from some members of the bobsledding community.

Like that, the U.S. hurdler who also recently picked up bobsled finds herself under scrutiny again.

Jones posted a Vine video in which she pokes fun at a check she received for $741.84 as prize money from the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. In the spoof, she picks up the phone and says, “I’m going to be a little bit late on my rent.”

Now, instead of fully concentrating on the U.S. track and field championships this week in her hometown, she’s explaining herself. She insisted it was simply a joke and she said she has already talked to some of her bobsledding teammates.

“None of the girl teammates I work with took offense,” Jones said.

Still, money is a delicate topic to some athletes.

“We knew Lolo’s video was intended to be fun, but we also recognized that it might be a sensitive topic for many of our athletes,” USBSF spokeswoman Amanda Bird said in an email. “Our athletes have so much pride in representing their country while competing in a sport they love, and they really do dedicate every second, minute and hour for just the chance to win an Olympic medal. It’s incredibly honorable.”

Jones may be new to the bobsled, but she’s rapidly making progress in her bid to make the team for the Sochi Games. She helped the U.S. bobsled team win gold in the combined bobsled-skeleton team event at the world championships in Switzerland in January. She also discovered she was setting personal training bests after pushing around a 400-pound sled for months.  

She’s hoping it carries over to the track this week — and for years to come. Jones is determined to make the Olympic team for Rio in 2016.

“We work hard in track, but the way they work in bobsled, it’s just baffling,” Jones said. “I was incredibly strong after the season.”

Sometimes, her quick wit can land her in hot water on social media.

“If I knew a secret on how to make a tweet or a Facebook post that would please everybody, I’d be a millionaire,” Jones said. “Everybody has a different sense of humor. I think that’s a subject that athletes struggle with all the time — they want to open their lives up to people, but at the same time, they’ll get scrutinized for anything. Anything could be misconstrued.

“You walk a fine border of showing people who you are and just doing the PG, plain tweets where you show nothing at all.”

Her tweets over the years have typically been funny and insightful. But some have put her in the spotlight, like this one. In the video, she shows the check and then says, “Seven months with bobsled season. The whole season. That’s it?”

“I don’t think this is the biggest mishap I’ve ever had,” she said of her video post.

That may have been when she trash-talked about head injuries to former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand after he jokingly challenged her to a race on Twitter. What she didn’t know was the defensive tackle was paralyzed in a game.  LeGrand tweeted that he understood what happened and didn’t take it personally, saying, “All good.”

Although many popular athletes get their share of scrutiny, Jones seems to receive more than most. She’s been ripped for everything from her posts to having lucrative sponsorship deals despite not having a cache of gold medals to justify such contracts.

She’s taken all the criticism in stride.

“You have to take the pros with the cons. I do that with everything in life,” Jones said. “The pros are I can get subjects that aren’t talked about out there. The cons are it may hit high publicity traffic areas and I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m trying to prepare for U.S. championships. I’m just trying to make you laugh.”’

Thinking about staying off social media?

“I’ve seen many athletes ... quit their Twitter account,” she said. “They just washed their hands and walked away. I would think about it. I sometimes wonder, ‘Is that a day when they were stress relieved?”’

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • NASCAR suspends Hamlin crew chief Grubb 6 races NASCAR suspends Hamlin crew chief Grubb 6 races

    NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rory McIlroy ready to get back to work Rory McIlroy ready to get back to work

    The claret jug is not out of sight. Rory McIlroy is just trying to get it out of his mind.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colaw, Keller hits in 11th send Potomac Valley past Romney

    Ryan Colaw hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning to put Potomac Valley up 9-8 and Garrett Keller’s hit made it 10-8 as Potomac Valley won the championship game of the West Virginia Area American Legion Tournament, 10-8, in 11 innings over Romney Sunday at Petersburg High School.

    July 29, 2014

  • Maryland state tournament begins today at Memorial Field

    The Maryland American Legion Baseball State Tournament returns to Cumberland today with six teams competing for the state title at Memorial Field at the Hammersmith Hot Stove Complex.

    July 29, 2014

  • Lakeview, Ridgeley capture series openers

    Bryce Jones had three hits and knocked in four runs and Logan Yommer hurled six strong relief innings as Lakeview Auto Parts rolled past Cork’s Cars, 10-1, in the opening game of the Hot Stove League’s American League Championship Series Monday at Holler Field.

    July 29, 2014

  • Oakland sweeps weekend twinbills; Taylor tosses no-hitter

    Oakland scored two runs in the top of the ninth to get by Potomac in the first game 5-3, then erupted for 17 hits to cruise to a 14-5 win in the second, sweeping the Pirates in Pen-Mar-WV League baseball action Sunday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014

  • Junior Striders event today at Broadford

    Event No. 5 of the Queen City Striders Junior Striders Summer Running series will be held today at Broadford Lake Park in Mountain Lake Park. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. For more information call 301-463-6231 or 301-697-8704.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 07/29/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • 'The Drive for 5' back on again for Gordon 'The Drive for 5' back on again for Gordon

    Long before Jimmie Johnson arrived on the NASCAR scene, Jeff Gordon was the fastest thing on wheels.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo