'The girls that EARNED their spots got their medals': Team USA catfight as hurdlers claim Lolo Jones unfairly hogs the spotlight with endless virginity talkOlympic hurdler Lolo Jones, 30, declared that she was a virgin on Twitter earlier this yearThe athlete's confession was discussed further on HBO's Real Sports in May where she claimed she struggles to find a boyfriendHer teammates Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells resent the star for landing endorsements and magazine covers in the wake of her confession
21:42 GMT, 8 August 2012
Lolo Jones was once one of the sporting world's most clean-cut stars, announcing on Twitter earlier this year that strong religious beliefs have kept her virginity in tact.
But it has been revealed that the 30-year-old Olympic hurdler is in the midst of a nasty catfight with her own Team USA peers Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, who verbally attacked Miss Jones on television this morning.
Harper, 28, and Ms Wells, 30, who finished second and third respectively in
yesterday's Olympic 100m women's hurdles final, spoke bitterly about Miss Jones, who finished in
Ms Harper said during an interview on NBC Sports, that Miss Jones is the media's 'favourite' and that her own life story is just as interesting as that of her heavily-hyped peer, who posed nude for ESPN the magazine in 2009.
Rivals: Team USA track stars Dawn Harper (left) and Kellie Wells (below) have revealed there is a war between themselves and Lolo Jones (right). The pair have admitted they resent Miss Jones for hogging the limelight
At war: Kellie Wells (above) said this morning that the girls who earned their medals 'got them' in the end
Ms Harper said: 'Because their favorite [Miss Jones] didn't win all of a sudden
it's just like, “We're going to push your story aside, and still gonna
push this one”. That hurt.'
Beadle, the show's host, then clarified the situation for the audience:
'We're talking about Lolo Jones if you can't figure this out'.
Ms Wells also spoke about Miss Jones, who has gained plenty of attention since outing herself as a virgin on Twitter earlier this year, during the interview.
She said: 'Well, I think
that, on the podium tonight, the three girls that earned their spot, that got their medals and they worked hard and did what they needed to
do, prevailed. And that's all that really needs to be said.'
At war: Ms Wells (left) and Ms Harper (middle) both expressed that there is serious tension among Team USA
Her side: Miss Jones (right) told Savannah Guthrie (left) this morning that the media 'ripped her to shreds'
Miss Jones said on HBO's Real Sports in May that staying a virgin is 'harder than training for the Olympics'.
She added that being a virgin is 'the hardest thing I've ever done in my life… harder than graduating from college'.
I was 22, 24, it was cute,' she said. 'But 24 to 29, it's not cute. You
get judged a lot, a lot of guys won't return your calls after they find
Ms Harper added that her own life story deserves the same type of attention Miss Jones' has attracted.
She said: 'I feel I had a pretty good
story – knee surgery two months before Olympic trials in 2008, to make
the team by 0.007, not have a contract, working three jobs, living in a
frat house, trying to make it work.
She continued: 'Coming off running in someone else's shoes, getting the gold medal. I'd say I was pretty interesting.'
Success: Ms Wells (left) and Ms Harper (right) celebrated their achievements after yesterday's hurdles final
Defeat: Miss Jones (in furthest lane) was beaten by her outspoken Team USA teammates as well as Australia's Sally Pearson (front of picture) who won gold in the race
The host was clearly floored by her
guests' comments, simply telling the camera: 'Wow… you can cut the
tension in here with a knife.'
this morning, Miss Jones, a devout Christian who also appeared on the
cover of Outside magazine this year in a skimpy swimming costume that
resembled a strip of ribbon, emotionally attacked the media herself on
the Today show.
During an interview with the show's co-host Savannah Guthrie, she spoke of her heartbreak over an article published by The New York Times
on August 4 which said: 'She will be whatever anyone wants her to be – vixen,
virgin, victim – to draw attention to herself and the many products she
The article also read: 'She has played into the persistent, demeaning notion that women are worthy as athletes only if they have sex appeal.'
It also included a quote from Ms Harper who admitted that she is surprised to learn how open Miss Jones has proved when it comes to her personal life.
Regrets: Olympic hurdling star Lolo Jones featured on the Today show yesterday as well, above. She told host Savannah Guthrie that maybe she should 'zip it' when it comes to discussing her virginity
Contender: She competed in yesterday's hurdles final after running 12.68 seconds in her heat, above
She said: 'I've had family issues as
well, but I'm not willing to say all of them just so it can be in the
papers. I don't want that for myself or my family.'
Miss Jones, who is actually named Lori, said this morning through tears: 'The fact that it [the article] was from a U.S. media… I mean they should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes.
'They just ripped me to shreds and I just
thought that was crazy because I worked six days a week every day for
four years for a 12-second race and the fact that they just tore me
apart… it was just heartbreaking.'
She added: 'I think it's such a shame I have to deal with so much backlash.'
The star, from Louisiana,
said just yesterday that she is thinking twice about discussing her
virginity so openly, obviously attracting further headlines.
She told Ms Guthrie on another episode of Today that she should perhaps 'zip it' when it comes to discussing her religious beliefs.
exotic beauty claimed that she was surprised her confession attracted so
much attention. She said: 'This is my path and I was just sharing my
The Iowa-born star, who took part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has been linked to Tim Tebow in the past, but mainly due to their shared Christian beliefs.
Glamour girl: Miss Jones, pictured left in New York in June, 2011 and right in Los Angeles in August, 2011, said in May that remaining a virgin is 'harder than training for the Olympics'. She has been linked to Tim Tebow
She was quick to quash the
rumours, responding on Twitter: 'I actually heard Tebow
has a girlfriend he just isn't saying it publicly. The search
It was on Twitter earlier this year where she first announced to her almost 55,000 fans that she was a virgin.
She said: 'I do not have a hard time finding dates
but I do have a hard time finding a guy that I want to date that has
good morals, that's willing to wait.'
Miss Jones told Women's Health magazine in 2010 that she listens to 'a lot of Christian music' to help calm her during training seasons.
Miss Jones also revealed that she has tried using various online dating sites, as well as Twitter, in an attempt to seek out a boyfriend.
She also said on the program that she has grown accustomed to being rejected by men as a result of her beliefs.
said: 'Here's the two things that happen when you tell a guy you're a
virgin, this is the honest truth. One, you tell them [and they say] “oh
ok, I respect that”. But you can already see in their eyes [that they're
thinking] “she's lying about this and I'll crack it”.
Confessions: She spoke in detail about her personal life – and virginity – on Real Sports, which aired in May
Conquer: The star is seen at the end of yesterday's heat, learning that she had qualified for the 100m final
'So we'll talk usually one to three months [later], then they're like “oh shoot, she was serious”. Time for me to exit.'
The athlete also jokes about how she would like to be the next 'candidate' for a sequel to the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
'I'm a little bit awkward like Steve Carell,' she said. 'I could definitely play that role… I would love to.'
The cover model athlete was left heartbroken after her performance at the 2008 Olympics.
had been leading the final of the women's 100-metre hurdle competition
before clipping the second-to-last hurdle on the home stretch.
She finished seventh in the race.
On the flip side, she told Allure magazine just last month that Beijing had helped her finally feel pride for her body.
She admitted that 'growing up, I felt insecure about my build. I didn't feel very feminine'.
Miss Jones admitted to Real Sports that she has been tempted to have sex in the past.
Cover girl: She appeared on the cover of Spikes magazine in 2010 (left) and Outside magazine (right) as well
'I've had plenty of opportunities… please understand this journey has been hard,' she said. 'I just don't believe in it… it's a gift I want to give to my husband.'
Miss Jones, who has trained 'four to six hours a day, six days a week' for the past 12 years, was raised amid less than perfect conditions.
She and her family were forced to live in the basement of a Salvation Army at one stage of her life, due to financial hardships.
She revealed that her family once used food stamps to purchase staple items such as cheese and beans in supermarkets.
She is not the only female Olympic star to have spoken of her religious beliefs so openly.
Jennifer Nichols, a 28-year-old archer from Wyoming opened up just last month about her
decision to remain celibate before marriage.
She told Us Weekly magazine: ''I saved my first kiss for the man I knew I was going to marry – my
fiance. I made that commitment when I was
about 13 years old.'