Olympian Lolo Jones: Bobsled Gave Me a “Fresh Start”

Olympic athlete Lolo Jones appeared on a segment of the "Today" show Tuesday, days after the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation announced that she made it to the U.S. team for the Sochi Games.

Jones is no stranger to the Olympics. She represented the U.S. in track and field in the 2008 Beijing Games and again in London in 2012 before trading in her track cleats for a bobsled. The pressure, however, doesn't diminish just because Sochi is her third time at the Olympics, she said.

"Anytime you get to represent Team USA, it's the biggest honor that I'll have in my life" said Jones, who spoke via satellite from Germany where she is training. "You feel the weight and pressure of a country behind you."

Jones and another Summer Olympic veteran Lauryn Williams were among the 15 people named on Sunday to join the U.S. bobsled team, who Jones affectionately dubbed "The Wolfpack." Both Jones and Williams are the ninth and 10th Olympians to compete in both the Summer and Winter Games, according to ESPN. Williams won gold at the London games for the 4x100 relay and silver in Athens for the 100 meter sprint.

Jones nearly won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finished fourth in London in 2012 in the 100 meter hurdles. She turned to bobsled after London, saying the team "embraced me at one of my lowest points in my life."

"They lifted me up and day by day they encouraged me not to give up on this Olympic dream," she said on "Today." "So they really did give me a fresh start."

Jones said she had to gain 30 pounds of muscle for her new sport. While there are some similarities between track and bobsledding, Jones said there is "actually a lot that [she] had to learn."

"You just have to be really strong and powerful for bobsled," Jones said. "It's definitely more challenging than track and field."

She won silver in her first race at the World Cup, according to ESPN, and took home the gold at the mixed team event at the 2013 World Championships. Jones said she would not trade her loss in London for anything.

"Knowing I hit a hurdle, got fourth place, I wouldn't change it for the fact that I know that it led me to be here," she said. "It led me to meet a great group of female athletes."

A few hours the federation announced that she made the bobsled team, she posted on Facebook her reaction to making it to another Olympics.

"Had I not hit a hurdle in Beijing I would not have tried to go to London to redeem myself," she wrote. "Had I not got fourth in London I would not have tried to find another way to accomplish the dream. Bobsled was my fresh start. Bobsled humbled me. Bobsled made me stronger. Bobsled made me hungry. Bobsled made me rely on faith. Bobsled gave me hope. I push a bobsled but bobsled pushed me to never give up on my dreams."

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));
Contact Us