Lolo Jones is headed back to the Olympics and not everyone is happy. The hurdler has transitioned and worked her way onto the woman’s bobsled team as a pusher but some are questioning her inclusion on the team.
“It’s hard for me to name one or two athletes that would completely agree with that decision,” veteran brakeman Curt Tomasevicz said.
Three other bobsled teammates told USA TODAY that Jones was given the third and final brakeman spot on the Olympic team because of her fame and twitter followers.
“I should have been working harder on gaining Twitter followers than gaining muscle mass,” said Emily Azevedo who was one of the women who was left off the te.
Katie Eberling, was in the running for the spot Jones received and shared a similar thought.
“I feel this year there was a certain agenda,” Eberling said. “It’s no fault of my teammates. There’s been a lot of inconsistencies and that makes you wonder what’s going on. It’s not right.”
Bobsled officials are defending the selection of Jones.
“There is no doubt in my mind that people are disappointed that Katie and Emily did not make the team,” Darrin Steele, the CEO of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation said. “But it’s never about publicity or marketing. The best way to market the sport is by winning.”
“We followed the procedure and I’ll stand by that decision all day long,” Steele said. “It was a really close call. The numbers were close. There’s no question about it. That always makes it more difficult. The trending was going toward Lolo and she’s a great athlete and at the end of the day that’s who we think is a better brakeman for the Games. ”
Are these responses justified or simply sour grapes from some athletes who failed to make the squad?