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
  • Wizards seek real homecourt advantage vs. Bulls Wizards seek real homecourt advantage vs. Bulls

    If empty seats are any indication, the Washington Wizards are just as big of a surprise in their own city as they are to the rest of the NBA.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rapidly maturing Blue Jackets pushing Penguins Rapidly maturing Blue Jackets pushing Penguins

    Dan Byslma can understand getting outplayed. It happens to even the most experienced hockey teams during the long slog postseason slog to the Stanley Cup.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trenton Eirich Eirich voted Player of Year

    CUMBERLAND — Trenton Eirich, who led Allegany to one of the most successful three-year runs in school history and finished among the all-time leaders in multiple categories in the storied boys basketball program at the Sedgwick Street school, has had his name added to another pretty prestigious list.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mountain Ridge pitcher Dylan Shimko Sivic’s grand slam powers Allegany past Northern

    ACCIDENT — Colton Sivic’s grand slam secured No.1 ranked Allegany’s 10-5 victory over No. 3 Northern in an Appalachain Mountain Athletic Conference matchup Wednesday evening as the Campers stayed perfect on the season.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Petersburg outlasts Pendleton

    FRANKLIN — Second-ranked Petersburg’s four-run seventh inning propelled the Vikings over Pendleton County 14-10 on Wednesday afternoon.

    April 24, 2014

  • Sports Roundup - 04/24

    April 24, 2014

  • Georgius leads FSU over No. 23 Marietta

    MARIETTA, Ohio — Kenny Georgius scattered six hits and struck out seven over eight solid innings to lift Frostburg State to a 7-1 win over No. 23 Marietta College for a split of their Wednesday afternoon doubleheader.

    April 24, 2014

  • PSC sweeps Westmoreland

    YOUNGWOOD, Pa. — Mariah Martin tossed a two-hitter and Britani Chambers homered in the first game, and Meghan Anderson led a 13-hit attack in the second as Potomac State swept Westmoreland, 5-2 and 6-3, on Wednesday afternoon.
    In the opener, Martin, staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, allowed only two hits, struck out eight and walked just one in a complete-game victory.

    April 24, 2014

  • Sports Calendar 04/24

    April 24, 2014

  • Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman NFL players talk about race with Harvard students

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Richard Sherman was called all kinds of names after his raging rant at the end of the NFC championship game. It was worth it, the Seattle cornerback said, because it gave him a chance to talk about the perception of black athletes to a wider audience.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Sports related video