Lolo Jones’ Last Chance for Gold


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When you're 29 and single and live alone in a house with your dog, you surf Twitter, hoping to find someone worth talking to. Maybe even hoping to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. You know this. You do it—or your brothers and sisters do it, your friends from college do it, your sons and daughters do it. What you might not know is that you do it even if you're Lori “Lolo” Jones, American track and field star with several titles to her name. She's tried every online dating service, she tells former professional tennis player Mary Carillo in the embedded clip from HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, but none of them have worked.

The clip is part of a package on Jones that will air Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST. (Other segments from the hour-long episode will focus on South Korean female golfers, who make up 145 of the top 500 ranked professionals; Ironman triathlete Matt Long, who was given a one percent chance to recover and live after a bus literally ran him over; and Ray Greenhalge, who has a unique passion for boxing that he picked up from godfather and uncle Micky Ward.)

The bit about finding love on Twitter, complete with funny asides—”I'm waiting for the day when somebody totally tricks me with their Twitter picture”—reminds you why audiences around the globe so quickly warmed up to Jones four years ago in Beijing. But that's just a glimpse. It leaves out the stories that Real Sports will surely touch on, the ones that had audiences so upset when she stumbled and lost her chance at a medal.

“All these accomplishments [three NCAA titles, 11 All-American honors, medals at the World Indoor Championship] followed a childhood that was often difficult, including stretches of homelessness due to her father being in and out of prison and her mother struggling financially,” according to the episode synopsis posted by HBO. “Therefore, her stumble during the Summer Games was a huge blow to her career but just another adversity she would be forced to overcome.”

Has she overcome it? Jones, Outside's February 2012 cover subject, is preparing for what could be her last shot at Olympic gold. When she gets to London later this summer, “her 2008 stumble will surely be looping on NBC in the previews to each of her heats,” senior editor Grayson Schaffer wrote in his profile of Jones. “And when she saunters up the blocks for the finals, we'll be watching, hoping that Lolo Jones gets her story right this time.”

Below, a behind-the-scenes look at Jones' cover shoot with photographer Robert Maxwell:

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