Born in Iowa in 1982, Lolo Jones excelled in sports throughout high school, earning the title of Gatorade Midwest Athlete of the Year. In college, she continued to thrive, winning several NCAA championships in indoor and outdoor hurdles. She went on to win USA and World championships (indoor track and field) in 2008, also competing in the 100-meter hurdles at the Olympic Games that year, where she failed to take home a medal. Jones had surgery on her spinal cord in 2011 and competed at the Olympic Games in 2012, where she placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles. She went on to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics as a bobsledder, where she finished in 11th place.
At Louisiana State University, Jones quickly proved to be one of the best hurdlers at the college level. She won the 100-meter hurdles at the 2002 NCAA Track & Field Championship, and was part of the runner-up team for the 100-meter relay event. Building on her success, Jones won the 60-meter indoor hurdles event at the NCAA Championships in both 2003 and 2004.
In 2005, Jones completed her studies and devoted herself entirely to her track career. Her dedication soon paid off. She came in first at the Torino Memorial event that year, and won at both the Heusden and Ostrava track events the following year.
In 2008, Jones seemed to be at the top of her game. She won the USA Outdoor Championship, as well as the USA and World Indoor championships. Going into the Beijing Olympic Games that year, Jones was considered to be an odds-on favorite for the gold. But she stumbled on the second-to-last hurdle in the 100-meter hurdle event, and ended up finishing 17th.
Lolo has started the Lolo Jones Foundation, with a mission to empower and inspire individuals who face the most socio-economical hardships to realize their full potential through engaging community programs and initiatives. The foundation, which helps single mothers, families of incarcerated loved ones and poverty stricken communities and youth, uses education as a tool against poverty to encourage others to live a life full of purpose despite hard-ships and/or setbacks.
In 2021, she wrote, Over It: How to Face Life’s Hurdles with Grit, Hustle, and Grace.
- A Conversation with Lolo Jones