POSTED: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 10:20pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 11:40pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Nearly four years have come and gone since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Leading the race with just two hurdles to go, U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones could smell the gold medal at the finish line. But disaster struck, she finished in seventh place.
“I messed up and it cost me the gold medal. The good thing about failure is that if you learn from them they can make you such a stronger person and there is not a day that has gone by that I have not thought about that race,” Jones said.
The thought of 2008 being her last Olympic run didn’t sit well with Jones.
“As an Olympic athlete we wait four years for this opportunity. This race only comes around so sparingly, so I'm really excited for a shot at redemption.”
The 11-time LSU all-American and 3-time NCAA champion is back. She’s back in the same town she had so much success as an amateur, Baton Rouge.
“I've been there training for the last 10 years with the same coach, Coach Dennis Shaver. I’m really excited that I've had the support of the community of Baton Rouge and of LSU. There has been so many times that I have been running in that terrible Baton Rouge heat and I think about that moment when I messed up and I'm like we are not letting that happen again,” Jones said.
“Athletes of that caliber learn to channel those inner emotions because it is critical to be successful. Certainly it’s been a tremendous motivator for her from a standpoint of a four year period of getting ready for those Olympics games,” Shaver added.
As Jones knows all too well, there are no guarantees. Not in life, not in track. While still a favorite, she’s still not locked in for London. But she’s laying it all on the line to get there.
“The mindset is just making sure that I just so prepared for the Olympics, and just finishing up the hard work and getting into race mode. I feel like when you go to races you get on the line and you know that you have done everything that you can. You train as hard as you can and eaten everything that is healthy and proper and you are just ready to go,” added Jones.