Lolo Jones is back in the Olympics, and she has been selected to be on the U.S. Olympic bobsled team. Now, her selection is being defended by those that made the choice even though her teammates and the public have brought much criticism toward them, according to CBS Sports on Jan. 24, 2014.
Lolo Jones will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi next month as she was among five bobsledders who were thought to be serious contenders for three open spots. It was expected for months that the final decision would be very difficult to make.
When all was said and done, Lolo Jones got the nod over Katie Eberling and Emily Azevedo, both of whom have been in bobsledding longer and have great pasts in the sport.
Upon the choice being made that Jones would be on the team, huge amounts of criticism and complaints started coming like mad at the U.S. Olympic Committee. It was said that suggested that there had been pressure to pick Lolo Jones for the team.
Per Darrin Steele, U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation CEO:
"We followed the procedure and I'll stand by that decision all day long. 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.
"I haven't heard anyone making the argument about Lolo not being a better athlete right now, a better brakeman for the team. I don't think I've come across that one time. I've heard a lot about history and all that's nice. But who's going to provide the best results for the U.S. team in Sochi? That's the bottom line. And I'll have that debate with anyone who wants to have it."
Steele insists that the final votes were checked and then double-checked, and that the tally was "incredibly close."
Teammates have come down hard on Lolo Jones in the past as they said she got a lot of attention and endorsements despite not winning a medal. Some say it was simply for her looks and other reasons, but not because of her talent.
Eberling, who was beat out by Lolo Jones, said:
''I feel this year there was a certain agenda,'' Eberling told the paper. ''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.''