How Lolo Jones set herself up to get played by the media

The storyline for Lolo Jones heading into the London Olympics was obvious the minute Jones stumbled over the second-to-last hurdle in Beijing: “Unfinished Business”. But that particular storyline slowly faded away in the months leading up to the London games. And in its place appeared brand new “mainstream” storylines.

It all started when Jones made an appearance on HBO’s Real Sports. The show chronicled everything about Jones, from her childhood struggles to her relentless effort to finally win gold in the 100-meter hurdles. But during the interview, Jones decided to reveal something that was much more interesting to the media. She revealed that she was a virgin. And just like that, the media suddenly had a mainstream storyline.

In the months to follow, Jones basked in the new mainstream attention. Columnists were writing stories on her, men everywhere were instantly intrigued, and her Twitter follower count exploded. She even had NFL players trying to hook her up with Tim Tebow. Lolo Jones was becoming a mainstream star while her USA teammates quietly wondered why she was getting so much attention. She’d never won Olympic gold, but she was a star. And she seemed to love it.

But with all of Jones’ new found mainstream stardom came the pressure to deliver. Suddenly, Jones was no longer trying to just finish off unfinished business from Beijing. She now had to deliver on the track to justify her stardom. And when it began to become clear that she wouldn’t, the media pounced.

Jones ended up with a fourth-place finish and a “broken heart.” And in an emotional interview on The Today Show, she complained about the media saying, “They should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes and instead they just ripped me to shreds.”

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But what Jones doesn’t seem to understand is that’s how the media operates. It’s all about the most interesting story. They were ready and willing to applaud the attractive virgin who finally won gold. But without gold, they were forced to go the other way.

It’s all a game and Lolo Jones got played.

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  1. Jim from Napa says:

    S. Evans; You are the first person to get the story right. It’s what I’ve been posting online for a while now and getting ripped to shreds for it.

    Jones saying she’s been burned twice now in the Olympics; by who? she lost both times!

    Hope Solo is a narcissistic bitch again throwing her teammates under the bus for the 1000th time blaming Canada’s goals on her defense.

    And then baby princess McKayla Maroney giving sarcastic smirks during the national anthem while pouting about ONLY getting a silver.

    The high maintenance woman American woman showed up during these olympics big time.

  2. Look whats wrong with stating your a virgin….more women should be able to say as much….LoLo is still our Louisiana Princess and should not allowm the media to persuade one ounce of her confidence . LoLo , the media are visious and all they after is a story good or bad,so don’t worry bout them and continue to be yourself……..We love you here in Louisiana, your family loves you and your friends love you…..

  3. Her virginity as a problem is not the assertion, that she should have kept it to herself is – not that there is something wrong with being so, but it brought focus to sexuality. Was she asked about being a virgin or was there some contest wherein it was logical information to machine known. Her issue is that she seems desirous of attention, but not wellbprepared or suited to handle it. There is a reason why really famous people have handlers. There is a reason why Motown had people dedicated to controlling talents’ images back in its hayday. One of the new adjustments the celebrity system is still making is to social media.

  4. Lolo Jones was absolutely right to point out how the American media was bringing her down. The Olympics is an event were countries should support their athletes, not create bad press for them just before they are about to compete. Which is exactly what the American media did to Lolo, and other American athletes. It was quite ironic to see for they only published bad press for their american athletes.

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