If you are like me, you have seen Cool Runnings, the ’90s family film about Jamaican bobsledding, about a million times. If you are not like me, I am really sorry.
For the 2014 Olympics, we got some exciting news. Jamaican bobsledding is back in the games. It’s been twelve years since the nation qualified to participate, but the team pulled it together this year, exciting the world with nostalgia and joy. Seriously—this is an amazing feat.
As for the United States bobsledding team, we are excited to have both male and female teams competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics. There has been considerable focus on Lolo Jones, an already well known Olympic athlete who has joined the Olympic team this year.
Jones is well known for her first run during the Olympics, though in the 2012 Summer Games she competed as a member of the 100 meter hurdles, placing third in the semifinals, and ultimately fourth overall.
Jones is well known already, not just for her first competition in the London Olympics, but because she has ensued a bit of controversy in the post-Olympic press. Many media sources and figures have accused Jones have garnering so much attention not because of her talent (she had not won a medal, yet was widely known), but because of her exoticism. Jones is biracial and undeniably gorgeous, her mother is Caucasian and her father is African-American. Jones also appeared in the media a considerable amount—in recent years she posed for “The Body Issue” of ESPN Magazine, as well as Outside magazine.
In my personal opinion, there is nothing wrong with being seen in the media whether or not you have any gold medals, and Jones should never have been held to any fault because of it. She has spoken out about the fresh start she is receiving on her new team in her new sport, however, and I wish her the best of luck.
Concerning the US Women’s bobsledding team, Jones has said:
“I mean, I have legit stats or whatever but sometimes you kind of forget those especially if you get thrown under the bus so many times in the media. I’ve even been thrown under the bus by my teammates in track and field. So to go into the training center and they barely knew me and they kind of just took me under their wing and were like, ‘No, you’re one of us.'”
Jones is not the only track and field Olympian to receive an invitation to join the US Women’s Bobsledding team, though she is the only one who made the cut to join the nine person team.
Jones quote via NBC Olympics. Photo by Diego Barbieri / Shutterstock.com.