Lolo Jones: How Faith and Determination Took Her to the Top (Gospel Light Minute #63)

Lolo Jones
Lolo Jones

She is a star American track and field athlete who specializes in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. She won three NCAA titles and garnered 11 All-American honors while at Louisiana State University. She won indoor national titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the 60 meter hurdles, with gold medals at the World Indoor Championship in 2008 and 2010. She went on to win silver at the 2008 World Athletics Final. She is the American record holder in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 7.72. She recently placed third in the 100 meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympics trials, qualifying her for a spot on the 2012 Summer Olympics team.

Growing up with a difficult childhood in Iowa, she often had to shoplift dinners for her family to survive. Her mother worked two jobs to support her family of six. Her father was, for the most part, in the Air Force, and later in state prison. While in third grade, her family settled down in the basement of a Salvation Army church; and she had to wake up early each morning to avoid being teased by other children who found out about her situation. When her family was about to move again to another city in Iowa, she told her mother, “Mom, I can’t go to a city that doesn’t have a track. I’m trying to pursue my dream.” At that time, her and her family parted ways. She lived with four different families throughout her high school years while at the same time she kept up her grades and fought to fulfill her dream.

She often speaks of how her strong faith in God helped pull her through difficult times. And she has a ritual of reading the Bible before a race and listening to Christian music. She created a buzz when she recently revealed in an interview the difficulty of remaining a virgin until marriage. She said that “This journey of staying a virgin until marriage has been hard — Harder than training for the Olympics and harder than graduating from college. It’s just something, a gift I want to give to my husband.” Her name is Lolo Jones.

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