The USA Women’s Gymnastics Team got some funny meme-treatment when some genius aptly applied quotes from Mean Girls to their pictures. But are some Olympic athletes representing America coming off as actual mean girls? Last night, the Women’s 100m Hurdles final took place, and 2 out of the 3 competing Americans captured the silver and bronze medals. The American hurdler who didn’t make it the medal stand was the much-hyped Lolo Jones. But most of the media coverage is still centering around her defeat and not the double victory for USA.
Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, the silver and bronze medalists, may have hinted at some discord between them and Lolo Jones in a post-race interview. Are their statements catty or just? Click through to see what they said.
Lolo Jones has been the subject of mass focus leading up to the Olympic games. The athlete has proudly stated that she’s a 30-year-old virgin, has been popping up in a myriad of Olympic marketing campaigns and has posed in suggestive outfits (if any at all). But the New York Times brought to light that most of her commercial success has been, in fact, commercial, a product of formulaic marketing and exotic appeal. Many onlookers realized that she has been more of an Olympic darling due to her statements and looks and not her actual performance.
Obviously, this woman qualified for the Olympics and made it the finals of her event, so there should be no question over her athletic abilities. To be 4th in the world is a worthy accolade, even if her neck lacks a medal. So where do her teammates’ statements come into play? “Lolo’s teammates” is a statement itself, and that’s why they’re not taking too kindly to the media that has overlooked their own stories in favor of Lolo’s.
Silver medalist Dawn Harper said that her story if full of struggles and perseverance, but no one sponsored her or gave her triumphs much coverage, even after she won in Beijing. Yet Lolo was being thrown offers left and right before the competition even began. Now that the race is over, the focus is still on Lolo’s defeat.
The interview was conducted by NBCSN’s Michelle Beadle and it seems as though Beadle could have been digging deep for some behind-the-scenes dirt. Here is an excerpt from the interview that is directed at bronze medalist Kellie Wells:
Beadle: You guys kinda hang out together … Is there fighting amongst the team — we’re talking about Lolo Jones if you can’t figure this out — is there an awkward situation or now that it’s over we’ve all just moved on?
Wells: Well, I think that, on the podium tonight, the three girls that earned their spot and they got their medals and they worked hard and did what they needed to do, prevailed. And that’s all that really needs to be said.
To see the full excerpt, read more on Gawker.
Was Wells’s statement directed at Lolo Jones or the media’s obsession with Lolo Jones? Do you think that these two hurdlers that put in their time without the promotion or sponsorships are pretty tired of having their achievements bypassed by the Lolo Jones Show?
I believe we should be cheering on these phenomenal athletes in general for their years of dedication leading up to this moment. Three American women made it to the final race of the best hurdlers in the world. That is HUGE! Even though Harper and Wells are right to acknowledge the imbalance in coverage, Lolo shouldn’t be to blame for the acts of media execs clutching for sky-high ratings.
What do you think of this situation? Does the behavior of Harper and Wells seem insensitive and catty?