Lolo Jones rankles U.S. bobsledders
If there's one thing Lolo Jones apparently doesn't like about competing for the U.S. bobsled team, it's sliding for relatively paltry pay.
The American track and field star on Monday rankled members of the U.S. bobsledding team -- which she has been working with the past seven months -- when she tweeted a Vine video poking fun at her bobsledding paycheck, which came out to $741.84 for her training thus far.
"Seven months with bobsled season. The whole season. That's it," she says in the video before adding, "I'm going to be a little late on my rent this month."
Jones, who has numerous endorsements from her track and field career, joined U.S. bobsledding in an attempt to win an Olympic medal that eluded her over the past two summer games.
Among those miffed by Jones' action was gold medalist Steven Holcomb, the most accomplished American bobsledder in history.
"It wasn't taken very well," Holcomb told USA Today of Jones' video. "People were really kind of insulted. You just made $741, more than most athletes in the sport. So what are you complaining about?"
In response, Jones released a statement that read: "I don't want to offend anyone, and I've always wanted to help out my bobsled teammates. Some of them have debt because they've given their life to the sport. My partner Jazmine and I had to raise money for the bobsled to be funded just to finish the season, because only 2 of the 3 sleds are funded by the team.
"I can't imagine halfway through my track season having to stop and raise money to finish. The vine of the paycheck is just showing the difference between track and bobsled, and to be honest bobsledders work more hours than track! The bottom line is that all Olympic athletes dedicate their lives to their sports and do not receive lucrative paychecks like athletes in mainstream professional sports. So hopefully this will make people appreciate just how hard Olympians work, often just for the love of the sport."
Jones' first season as a member of the U.S. national bobsledding team brought her three medals, and she said she plans to resume pushing bobsleds this fall.
"When I originally started bobsled, it was just kind of to get away from track for a while, a change of pace," Jones told The Associated Press after a recent track workout in Baton Rouge, La. "I thought it would be good cross-training. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed bobsled first, and after being in that atmosphere, I got completely engulfed. I would definitely love to be there. It's not a horrific experience every time I go down in a sled now.
"I want to go to Sochi. I want to help Team USA."
Jones finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the London Olympics in 2012, amid criticism from even some of her U.S. track teammates over the level of attention and endorsements she receives. Four years earlier in Beijing, she was the favorite and was in position to win gold when she hit the ninth of 10 hurdles and wound up seventh. Her lifestyle choices when it comes to dating and relationships are constant Twitter fodder.
Bobsled helped quiet down all the noise around her, she said in February.
"If bobsled brought me one thing, it brought me peace and I was able to just get away," Jones said. "I could have just hid out in my house, but with bobsled I was able to actually get out of my house and go to the French Alps, Swiss Alps and just be one of them -- a USA bobsled teammate and nothing else."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.