The press is obsessed with Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, but her teammates Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells are the ones taking home medals after yesterday’s 100-meter hurdles final, in which Jones finished fourth. It’s easy to sympathize with her loss, just shy of a medal after famously losing on a hit hurdle in Beijing, but in an interview with Michelle Beadle on NBC today, her teammates seem unmoved by her misfortune. Instead, they seemed to revel in rubbing in her loss, coming off as sore losers, despite their wins.
Wells and Harper have reason to be slightly annoyed with their teammate; she’s been getting the lion’s share of press surrounding their event, despite coming in after Wells and Harper (who won gold at Beijing four years ago) in this year’s semi-finals. But in their interview with Beadle, they let loose about their misgivings…and made themselves way less likable in the process.
Check out the interview:
Instead of focusing on the media’s choice to overlook their stories, or simply basking in the glory of their wins, they basically shit on Lolo. Harper seems slightly more reserved, but both reveal a sort of “Mean Girls”-esque
Their interview comes on the heels of a vicious profile in the New York Times blaming her for sexist sports coverage (in which Harper is quoted) that went to print on her 30th birthday last Sunday, just two days before the finals for her event. The author, Jere Longman, accused her of exploiting her “exotic beauty,” sexuality, religious beliefs, and personal backstory for media attention.
Ironically, the article has earned her even more extensive media coverage, despite her failure to medal. This morning, she dominated headlines after giving a tearful interview with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie addressing her loss and the media backlash–continuing to overshadow the event’s winners and her teammates.
Harper explains that it’s been hurtful to see her own story (which ESPN agrees is fairly inspirational and extraordinary in its own right) and wins get overlooked, which is a completely reasonable complaint. But even if gloating over Lolo’s loss (which Wells seemed particularly happy to do) is getting them headlines, it’s not getting them the kind of media attention they deserve–which is sad, but hard to blame on Lolo.