Lolo Jones, the American hurdler and bobsledder who specializes in the 60-meter and 100-meter hurdles, is a competition beast. She won three NCAA titles and garnered 11 All-American honors while at Louisiana State University. She won indoor national titles in 2007, 2008, and 2009 in the 60-meter hurdles, with gold medals at the World Indoor Championship in 2008 and 2010. And she’s one of 12 new houseguests who will enter the Celebrity Big Brother house this season which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.
Fans of reality television might recognize Jones from a couple other popular hit competition series. Here’s everything you need to know about the athlete and TV personality Lolo Jones.
1. Lolo Jones Appeared on Season 1 of The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros
In May of 2017, Jones joined the cast of MTV’s Challenge spinoff called The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros. She was eliminated in Episode 6, raising $1,000 for her charity Hurdles of Hope before leaving the show.
Jones competed alongside other pros such as Louise Hazel, CM Punk, Tia Blanco, and Kamerion Wimbley, in addition to Challenge veterans like Cara Maria Sorbello, Darrell Taylor, Wes Bergmann, and Chris “CT” Tamburello. (Never forget “Limegate.”)
2. Jones Also Appeared On Season 19 of Dancing With the Stars
Jones competed this time against stars like Alfonso Ribeiro, Tommy Chong, Lea Thompson, and Jonathan Bennett. Jones was partnered with Keo Motsepe but was the first celebrity eliminated after her cha-cha-cha dance failed to impress.
Jones wrote of her time on the show, “People are going to ridicule me. I’m so tired of feeling embarrassed.”
3. Jones Was Favored to Win the 100-Meter Hurdles in Beijing
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jones was favored to win the 100-meter hurdles. In the final, she was pulling away from the pack when she clipped the penultimate hurdle and stumbled, breaking stride to drop her back to a 7th place finish. Teammate Dawn Harper surged through to win gold. Jones was seen pounding the ground close to tears, trying to comprehend what had happened. “You hit a hurdle about twice a year where it affects your race. It’s just a shame that it happened on the biggest race of my life,” she said.
According to ESPN Films’ documentary Lolo, the clipping of the ninth hurdle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was attributed to a spinal problem. The doctor who treated her said that the problem was so bad that he would examine her feet and ask which toe of which foot he was touching, and she couldn’t feel anything. The doctor said that since she couldn’t feel her feet, her brain wasn’t able to process where they were, leading to the stumble in Beijing. The doctor performed a risky spinal surgery on Jones to repair the problem and the operation was successful.
4. Jones Admits That She Watched So Many Hours of Last Season’s Celebrity Big Brother That It Was Hurting Her Practice
In an interview with Ika Wong for ET Canada, Jones mentioned the countless hours she spent watching the celebrity houseguests last year.
“I’d go to practice and my coach is like, ‘Are you going out to the club? Why are you so tired?'” she said.
Jones calls herself a “new fan” of the show, which she thinks could help her avoid overplaying her hand.
“I know just enough that will help me get through everything I think I need to know, and then I will pick up as I go on.”
Jones will compete against other celebrities like Tom Green, Tamar Braxton, Dina Lohan, and Joey Lawrence.
5. Though Jones is a Virgin Who Is Waiting Until Marriage, She’s Open to the Possibility of a Showmance
“I definitely didn’t think I’d be waiting so long that I’d be almost a sequel to The 40 Year Old Virgin movie!” she told Wong.
Though Jones is highly aware that a showmance could hurt her in the Big Brother game, she still admits that she’s looking for love.
“I’m definitely open to…I’m not going to turn away love. I want that more than I want an Olympic Medal…To find my soulmate would be amazing,” said Jones.
Jones also said that if she could take one thing into the house, it would be a bible. Without the distraction of social media, TV, and phones, she’s looking to get back into “the word” to re-balance herself and revisit her zen.