Lolo Jones didn’t run away with a medal on Tuesday during the women’s 100-meter hurdles final at the Summer Olympics in London, but the 30-year-old track star is holding her head high and defending her accomplishments.
Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush caught up with Lolo just after her emotional interview on NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday, where she broke down while responding to some harsh criticism from the press.
“I’ve kind of had a chance to express what’s been in my heart the last couple of days. I’ve been balling it up and trying to use it as motivation and energy to try to get down the track, so it was good to finally open up,” she said of her emotional “Today” show appearance.
“Do you think you were a target because you’re beautiful?” Billy asked.
“I can’t do anything about this face, I can get some plastic surgery to tone it down. I just turned 30, so I’m aging rapidly now. So the next Olympics I’ll have some gray hair,” she said with her sights set on Rio de Janeiro in 2016. “I won’t have any of this looks stuff in the next Olympics.”
A recent New York Times piece questioned the amount of attention the track star has received, suggesting that her fame has more to do with marketing than her skills.
“The fact that they kind of bashed me for just trying to make sure that I could make all my sponsors [happy], who supported me and my family… I help my family out quite a bit – [to] just bash that aspect of it, I thought that was just absurd,” she told Billy. “I’m the American record holder. No American has run faster than me indoors. So, it’s not like I’ve been sitting on the sidelines and just been doing photo shoots. It’s like, I have legit stats!”
Lolo got even more attention following her race after Tweeting, “Stressed. 5am no sleep post race. Almost went @britneyspears on ya & shave my head til I read ur tweets. Thx 4 lifting me up during this time.”
“I got some backlash for that one. I’m getting backlash for every Tweet!” she explained to Billy. “I just try to make people laugh. Last night I just wanted to make people laugh. Like, I wanted to let people know it’s okay, I’m not on suicide watch. It’s all good. I’m just gonna take a sleeping Pill – just one – not the bottle!”
-- Jesse Spero