Lolo Jones on virginity talk: 'Maybe I should zip it'

Hurdler Lolo Jones talks candidly with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie about the personal and professional challenges she has overcome, including a childhood of poverty and disappointments on the track, and explains her hopes for the London games.

When Lolo Jones competes in the Olympics Tuesday, she'll have more than physical hurdles to overcome; she must also confront the memory of a crushing defeat, and the notion that she may be more puff than power.

But the American track star said she already feels she has won the race.

“I feel like I’ve already redeemed myself, you know?” she told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “Stepping on that line for me, it will be about facing my fears.”

Jones may be best remembered for her performance in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. As she surged ahead of the pack in the 100-meter hurdles, she clipped the second-to-last hurdle and stumbled out of medal contention.

Earlier this summer, Jones barely secured the last spot on the Olympic team at the U.S. trials. Yet she managed to attract far more media attention than her much faster teammates, Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells.

That has drawn a new round of criticism that Jones is all hype but very little hope – for gold or any medal.

A New York Times article last week charged that Jones receives far more publicity than any other American track-and-field athlete in London not because of achievement, “but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign.”

“Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be – vixen, virgin, victim – to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses,” the Times article said.

One pundit in the story even compared Jones to Anna Kournikova, the former Russian tennis player who received more attention for her looks than her skills, which are average.

Jones, 30, also has garnered attention for her very public vow to stay a virgin until marriage, a pledge she has shared with her Twitter followers.

“This is my path, and I was just sharing a part of my life,” she said.

When Guthrie asked Jones whether her life is an open book, Jones laughed and agreed it was.

“Maybe I should, like, zip it,” she said.

Jones said she has an easy time finding dates. More difficult, she said, is finding a good companion.

“I do have a hard time finding that I want a date that has good morals, that’s willing to wait,” she said.

Until then, she relies on the support of her family, including a sister who helped pull her out of her self-proclaimed “meltdown” following her performance at the U.S. trials. Her family also has helped her through a series of injuries, back surgery and doubt by outsiders that she lost her competitive edge.

Jones assured everyone that she still has “that fire” when she runs.

“With every step, I’m just beating out the problems of my life.”

Read more:
Lolo Jones: 'When will I meet man of my dreams?'
Lolo Jones is staying a virgin until marriage
Michael Phelps is ready to write final journal entry

Discuss this post

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What was the point or purpose of this article? There's a snarkiness to it, the type that's usually emitted from someone who's generally envious and unfulfilled. That's sad. A more productive exercise would be to go out and do something nice for someone else, make someone smile. It comes back around!

  • 2 votes
Reply#1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 11:13 AM EDT

I thought she did zip it.

  • 4 votes
#1.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 12:21 PM EDT

I stayed a virgin too until I was married at age 31. Thanks for standing up for us girls who have morals and yes it was very hard to have a boyfriend who could accept that. Getting dates was not a problem, it was finding someone who understood. It was a constant struggle. My husband totally understood and respected my decision.

  • 4 votes
Reply#2 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 11:30 AM EDT

I did the same, but I had sex with girls/escorts/etc.. that were easy in the meantime I waited. So any guy who waits patiently till marriage dating you is just getting it elsewhere in the mean time while they wait.

  • 2 votes
#2.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:20 PM EDT

There are very few guys who will marry a 30 year old woman who is a virgin or someone who won't have sex until they are married. It's one thing if they are younger and are willing to learn, but totally different when they are more set in their ways and may be unwilling to experiment. I wouldn't invest time or propose to a woman who knows nothing about sex or probably will suck at it. :)

Also, most women have a different criteria in what constitutes being a virgin. Does she have experience with anal or oral sex? Do they still call themselves a virgin if there is only partial penetration, or does she do absolutely nothing when it comes to physical affection?

  • 1 vote
#2.2 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 2:51 PM EDT

I doubt your hubby saved himself for you.... Was he immoral?

    #2.3 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 3:17 PM EDT

    Kelly, the key here is decent guys, any man negative or nasty(low class)enough to put her down or even negate her choice is not a decent man, not really anyone whose opinion even matters.

    • 3 votes
    #2.4 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:13 PM EDT

    Props to you woman. Its a beautiful thing to hold your body in THE HIGHEST esteem. Our body and souls are intertwined, and a woman who holds her body in high esteem values herself.

    • 1 vote
    #2.5 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:31 PM EDT

    Appreciated TODAY not editing the part about "waiting until marriage". Don't make fun of this or put her or any other person who has the "guts" to make such a commitment. Would we had more people like Lolo who are champions in sports as well as their personal lives.

    • 1 vote
    #2.6 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 8:15 PM EDT

    Wow BP and Bart. You have NO IDEA what you're missing. The happiest couples I know are those who've never been with anyone else. What you're NOT missing is the emotional baggage most people bring with them from past physical relationships, not to mention those icky comparisons to previous lovers and even the possibility of latent diseases.

    And believe it or not, there are lots of people who haven't bought into the instant gratification culture we live in. Anticipation of the gift often makes the gift more precious.

      #2.7 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 4:18 PM EDT

      I've got twice the morals than the entire moral majority out there, it's just that my moral system is based on how I treat others, how well I place my fingers on the very pulse of life, and well I feel and share that - not some crusty bad manuscripts from a part of the world that wouldn't know morality if sodomized with it.

      This doesn't mean I think any less (or any more) of someone who opts to not engage in carnal pleasures - that is a personal choice.

      Though I do think quite a bit less of those who choose to make such decisions matter for public discourse.

      Who/What you choose to take to your bed and When is no one else's business. Making a public display of it, like Kelly or Lolo have is, if nothing else, disrespectful to us who are neither your lovers nor voyeurs.

      • 14 votes
      Reply#3 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 11:47 AM EDT

      Best post on this topic, period.

      • 3 votes
      #3.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 12:43 PM EDT

      Ties in with the whole Facebook / Reality show mindset this country seems to be devolving towards...i.e. the self-absorbed need to place all ones business out on the "street" for everyone else to see

      • 5 votes
      #3.2 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 12:51 PM EDT

      Glad we have Mr. Morality here to tell us all what is acceptable. It is wrong for her to make something public? You read the article. You took the time to post about it. You are the one interested. Hypocrite. You down her for having morals based on old manuscripts then produce your own moral code from thin air. He making this public does treat anyone wrongly, which by your own admission, is your moral code. In short, you are a toolbox, good sir. Cheerio.

      • 1 vote
      #3.3 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:58 PM EDT

      I may be a toolbox, but you sir, are a tool.

      I didn't "down" her for where she got her moral code, I "downed" her because she is making public what should be none of anyone's business.

      And no, my own moral code did not "come from thin air", but rather, has been carried on the "thin air" for millions of years before those manuscripts ever existed.

      And when those manuscripts crumble to dust, that dust too has long borne the code to which I adhere.

      My only "interest" here is in illustrating why "bubble living" is bad.

      • 2 votes
      #3.4 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 9:18 AM EDT

      "Making a public display of it, like Kelly or Lolo have is, if nothing else, disrespectful to us who are neither your lovers nor voyeurs."

      Indigo, how so? Disrespectful to the lovers they... don't have? Or to the voyeur because they "don't kiss" and therefore have nothing to tell?

      Or did you mean "disrespectful to those who reject premarital celibacy?"

      Or.... did you simply mean it's a private subject that shouldn't be parlayed about publicly? And if so, are you just as offended by those who discuss their sex lives as by those who commit to a lack thereof?

        #3.5 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 5:01 PM EDT

        Why is this even news.

        • 3 votes
        Reply#4 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 11:49 AM EDT

        It is news because she her personal behaviour (virgin) is a threat to the "if it feels good do it crowd" So I guess coming out and stating your sexual preference is "celebrated" but talking about your beliefs of not have sex outside marriage shouldn't be expressed. Sounds like a double standard.

        • 2 votes
        #4.1 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 1:08 PM EDT

        I don't believe one bit of it. It's all a ploy to make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

        • 5 votes
        Reply#5 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 12:23 PM EDT

        If she'd never started running her mouth, there would be no need to 'zip it'.

        See Indigo's comment for a good perspective.

        • 3 votes
        Reply#6 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 12:25 PM EDT

        There is no clear mandate in the Bible that one should wait until marriage to engage in a physical relationship, and waiting is pointless. She, and those like her, are not moral. They are prudes, basing their decision on manuscripts written by a bunch of narrow minded, tight a***ed old prudes that believe anything that brings fulfillment or joy in life must be a sin.

        Religion, and all its pointless mandates that do nothing to make this world better, but are instead designed to simply punish one's self for no reason, is just a bunch of stupid superstition.

        I wouldn't date a woman that insisted on waiting until marriage if my life depended on it, and anyone who would put up with such a prudish attitude is going to wind up with what they deserve - a woman who is a dead fish in bed. Have fun!!!

        • 11 votes
        Reply#7 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 12:25 PM EDT

        Seriously, you're going to live your life word for word by what the Bible says? Okay, so the Bible was passed on verbally for about 1000 years... the longest game of Telephone EVER. Then, once somebody did actually write it down, a couple hundred years later there had to be a clerical meeting to straighten out all the religious leaders of the day because everyone's version ranged from slightly to radically different - so they edited the 'word of God'... they did it again a few years later.

        Then we also have the Old and New Testament to deal with. And with all this editing, excluding of certain books because it doesn't provide the narrative religious leaders are looking to perpetuate - people still believe it. Amazing... guess that also explains how Mitt Romney can lie to the nation on any range of issues and still be a viable candidate.

        • 5 votes
        #7.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:44 PM EDT

        The bible is a farce, a fairy tale. No one has supposedly never ever saw god, so how did someone capture all those profound sayings in that book? He had talk and yak incessantly for years to fill up a book like a bible. And what made him the authority in all things? "Thou shall not do ______. " Uh yeah, whatever pal.

          #7.2 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 2:57 PM EDT

          Michael, oh I am sure she is heartbroken that some negative nasty henlike(like a woman)loser posting on the internet wouldn't wait for her, lol, like you are even in her league or even have a shot, lol.

          some posters are really silly and delusional, kind of funny though.

          • 2 votes
          #7.3 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:21 PM EDT

          So..let me see if I've got this straight. If the leaders of your "Religion" decided to tell you that you should not have any desserts until you have been married, you would follow their word like blind sheep?

          Remind me again, why?

          Never-mind..I get it...sheep follow.

          Just think of how many of life's little pleasures you would have missed out on. But I fully understand. Your GOD ( or his/her interpreters ) have decided that you sheep are not worthy of every pleasure that life should offer.

          While I fully respect others choices to believe in whatever they want to believe in please respect my right to shake my head and bury my face in my hands and wonder how your GOD ( or his/her interpreters ) can be so much of a schmuck.

          • 9 votes
          Reply#8 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:29 PM EDT

          She just now figured out this probably isn't the best subject for an athlete to discuss? Nobody cares if she's into guys or women, had sex or hasn't. This is a non-story and NBC sucks for keeping it going.

          • 3 votes
          Reply#9 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:35 PM EDT

          You read it. You care. Don't suppress you true feelings. You're sexually broken and wonder what it would be like not to be. Its okay. chill.

          • 1 vote
          #9.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:10 PM EDT

          Seriously, you're going to live your life word for word by what the Bible says? Okay, so the Bible was passed on verbally for about 1000 years... the longest game of Telephone EVER. Then, once somebody did actually write it down, a couple hundred years later there had to be a clerical meeting to straighten out all the religious leaders of the day because everyone's version ranged from slightly to radically different - so they edited the 'word of God'... they did it again a few years later.

          Then we also have the Old and New Testament to deal with. And with all this editing, excluding of certain books because it doesn't provide the narrative religious leaders are looking to perpetuate - people still believe it. Amazing... guess that also explains how Mitt Romney can lie to the nation on any range of issues and still be a viable candidate.

          • 5 votes
          Reply#10 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:45 PM EDT

          "...the longest game of Telephone EVER." is the best description have ever read about the Bible :)))

          • 3 votes
          #10.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:34 PM EDT

          You are clearly very well studied in ancient near eastern oral traditions. Ha.

          Set up that straw man and knock him down. Dance as the crowd cheers! Great job!

          • 1 vote
          #10.2 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:24 PM EDT

          Firstly, Kournikova, at one point in her career, was actually a very promising tennis player, but she found better money and greater (if fleeting) fame marketing her looks. So what? We all sell what we've got and condemning Kournikova for doing the same thing is petty and stupid. And if Lolo Jones is hotter than she is fast and manages to make that pay, then big deal and good for her - and why the snarkiness on MSNBC's part ("she should quit thrusting herself into the spotlight which is why we ran this story spotlighting her..."). Seemingly, I pay for cable TV so that I can have 24 hour coverage of the Kardashians, who are neither athletic nor hot, and, frankly, I'd far sooner watch Lolo Jones sweating in track shorts than Kim Kardashian doing anything. So if Ms. Jones can turn that to advantage, who friggin' cares? I'm sure she'd be just as happy on the cover of "Vogue" as on a "Wheaties" box and it's her choice which it is.

          • 2 votes
          Reply#11 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:46 PM EDT

          'Maybe I should zip it' -

          Yes Lolo, please do!

          • 2 votes
          Reply#12 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 1:59 PM EDT

          I'd Hit It, and show her what she has been missing for the last 16-18 years.

          For the record, I don't believe a single word she says about being a virgin. They all forget about that nonsense if you press the right buttons. And in this day and time, who really cares of a woman is a virgin before marriage? My wife was a virgin when I first met her, but we had plenty of sex well before I proposed to her.

          • 1 vote
          Reply#13 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 3:05 PM EDT

          Glad to know you took her for a test drive before committing. I see the moral superiority in that.

          • 2 votes
          #13.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:13 PM EDT

          I see the moral superiority in the assumption that sex is what defines a marriage, thus insinuating that premarital sex is the equivalent of a test drive.

            #13.2 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 10:43 AM EDT

            She needs to stay true to herself. That's all that matters, not what anybody else thinks.

            • 3 votes
            Reply#14 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 3:43 PM EDT

            She doesn't come across as a person that is all that sure of herself.

            • 1 vote
            #14.1 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 10:43 AM EDT

            I think those that insult her for her choices are just nasty used up losers,or men that are so far beneath her, Bp the grape, you really need to stop you sound obsessive and deranged about this(scary). I am sure she could care less about negative opinions from some loser on the internet(you):)

            • 1 vote
            Reply#15 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:04 PM EDT

            I have absolutely no idea who the hell you are, but I must agree that "zipping it" would be a wonderful idea.

            • 2 votes
            Reply#16 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:19 PM EDT

            Well she didn't win any medal. Maybe it's only publicity.

            Were the other two hurdlers (silver and bronze medals, by the way...) interviewed? Oh, that's right, they don't talk about her sex life (or lack thereof) on TV...

            • 1 vote
            Reply#17 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:29 PM EDT

            Granted she is out of most guys league and requires a real quality stand up guy not some sleazebag loser, honestly I think she is great, healthy, smart. successful attractive nonused up std free, and anyone who talks about experience is a moron, sex has been around forever and is not hard to figure out(some of the dumbest people on earth do it, lol) she will be fine when the time comes with the right person. Any women who seems bad in bed most likely doesn't truly want to be with the man or doesn't feel right/comfortable about the situation. I have heard of men talking about women who do sleep around and how terribly loose they are, throw in a few stds and I couldn't see anything worse than that scenario.

              Reply#18 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:36 PM EDT

              Really? Why do we continue to judge women's morality on whether or not they engage in normal, healthy sexual relationships? Why do women set themselves up to be judged that way? Any time any woman proclaims that she's "saving herself for marriage", I hear: The most important quality I have to offer a future partner is that I haven't had sex.

              Really?? And you're surprised men aren't lining up? How about being funny, kind, intelligent, supportive, self-sufficient, self-confident?? Whether men are moral actors or not depends on their sense of justice, integrity, honesty, responsibility, etc. Women sell themselves short when they don't rate themselves by the same measure.

              My worth is not the sum of my sexual history. And I wouldn't accept any partner that saw women that way. Thankfully, there are plenty of men who agree.

              • 6 votes
              Reply#19 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:45 PM EDT

              Its very true what you say. No ones worth is the sum total of their sexual history. We have inherent value as image bearers of God. On the other hand, many women who do not respect themselves, often give their body away in an attempt to feel loved, accepted, affirmed etc.

              • 1 vote
              #19.1 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:16 PM EDT

              hey some men have no standards midwesterner, lol, plus women who put out to those types are just saving them some cash from the hookers, lol.

              but to the man who used escorts while you waited, wow, that could be deadly, seriously. I feel sorry for a woman who respected her body and then gave it to a man who would put her at high risk of stds, including hiv/aids. You must not really have any respect or actual real love for her if you put her in that position, even yourself for that matter(condoms are not fullproof, stds can be spread outside of the condom area and if there is a leak or slippage)

                Reply#20 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 4:54 PM EDT

                Why do we continue to judge women's morality on whether or not they engage in normal, healthy sexual relationships?

                I am seeing more people judge her for respecting her sexual health and body until the time is right for her, it is not for anyone else to decide. Really it is none of my business either, but I think it is beyond classless to insult her for that choice, she is not hurting anyone. this woman is clearly of healthy mind and body, probably too good in all actuality. In a nasty used up world of unwanted pregnancies, neglected children, stds, cheaters, she is refreshing.

                • 1 vote
                Reply#21 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:00 PM EDT

                there are plenty of men who agree

                losers she wouldn't want anyway, lol. point taken, point given. to each their own.

                and as far as men lining up, there are plenty, they are just getting shot down, lol.

                • 1 vote
                Reply#22 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:05 PM EDT

                First smart thing you've said in a long time LOLO. Some of your comments seem arrogant and you seem to love the attention way too much.

                You got 4th today after barely making the finals. Then you say even if I lose I've done more than the people watching it. wow

                I'm sure doctors, nurses, teachers and fireman do a hell of a lot more than you. LOLO likes the sound of her own voice too much.

                • 1 vote
                Reply#23 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:35 PM EDT

                the reason I'm sick of it is because she's using it as a marketing tool. I could care less if a woman is a ho or not, and don't need to hear about it.

                • 1 vote
                Reply#24 - Tue Aug 7, 2012 5:37 PM EDT

                I told myself to read all 42ish posts before mine but, around 15 I got bored. Stick to the subject. The diffent forms of media usually report sex and relationships throughout politics, athletes, celebrities, affluent figures and so forth. I think it's great that LoLo Jones is honest and open with a bit of Devil's Advocate explaining that she is true to herself AND dedicated to something meaningful [other than pointing the finger at others.] She's an Olympic contender who has specific goals and doesn't let things in the way that a lot of us do. Give the athlete some praise for representing our country, and ESPECIALLY for taking a non-denominational view on the whole thing. She's left religion out of this and made it completely about her goals, destination, time, dedication... I like it. I LIKE IT A LOT.

                  Reply#25 - Wed Aug 8, 2012 1:03 AM EDT
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