I chose to make a gif out of Olympic Hurdler Lolo Jones’ famous “failure race.” Jones, a three-time NCAA Champion in the 100 meter hurdles while at LSU, has competed at two Olympics games for Team USA.
In this particular race, Jones was favored to win Olympic Gold. As you can see in the early frames of the Gif, she held a significant lead. But after unexpectedly hitting the penultimate hurdle, Jones lost her rhythm and fell to seventh place. The final frames show Jones finishing in extreme frustration, as she lost her place on the podium. Not only was this a major disappointment for Jones, but for Team USA.
I chose this race because of its significance to me as a runner. Jones has always been one of my role molds in Track and Field, but this race has defined her resilience. After this disappointing loss, she battled several injuries in the season leading up to the 2012 Olympics games in London. Here Jones suffered yet another disappointment, finishing in fourth place and just one-tenth of a second behind fellow American hurdler Kellie Wells. Jones stands out to me as a role model because despite overwhelming disappointments in her Track and Field championship career, she has remained determined to succeed. She has remained strong in the face of failure, and refuses to give up. Jones is a public figure in the Track and Field community, well-known for her sense of humor and outgoing personality. At times, she even pokes fun at herself for her missed Olympic podium appearances. But most notably, Jones is able to use her failures as inspiration for other to push through adversity. Jones has been a powerful symbol of perseverance, an example that failures do not define us and a comeback is just around the corner.
Animated Gif created using Adobe Photoshop.