SEC “Storied” Film, Lolo, Chronicles the Track and Field Athlete’s Victories and Struggles
Olympic athlete Lori “Lolo” Jones is an expert at overcoming hurdles—both on the track and in life. ESPN Films’ Lolo, the latest installment in the new SEC “Storied” documentary series, will explore Jones’ trying journey thus far; rising from poverty and homelessness to be catapulted into world stardom, including a spot on the USA Olympic Track and Field team and celebrity status. Lolo will premiere on May 21 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Lolo Jones began chasing her dream in high school. After years of living in poverty and an unstable home life she was determined to be the first in her family to go to college. Constantly looking to improve, Lolo earned a scholarship from the famed Louisiana State University Track and Field program and fought to become the best, among the best.
With the help of coach Dennis Shaver, Lolo became one of the most dominant athletes in the history of the LSU Women’s Track and Field dynasty, winning three NCAA Titles and 11 All-American honors, most notably in the hurdles. After failing to qualifying for the 2004 Olympics, Lolo turned again to Shaver for inspiration to continue fighting for her dream.
After four years of intense training, Lolo found herself right where she wanted to be—on the 2008 US Olympic team and favored to win gold in the 100 Meter Hurdles. But on the verge of reaching that dream, she suffered a heartbreaking stumble at the final hurdle, costing her the biggest race of her life.
Still determined to win an Olympic gold medal, Lolo went through with a risky spinal surgery and another four years of training to prepare for what is now her next hurdle – making the 2012 Olympic team and winning gold this time.
*DVD screeners available upon request*
Directed by Rory Karpf with NASCAR Media Group, Lolo features personal interviews from Lolo Jones, her parents, siblings, coaches, teammates and Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, along with never-before-seen footage of Lolo in high school and during her 2011 surgery.
Quotes from Lolo
Lolo’s mother, Lori Counter-Jones, on being homeless: “You end up staying with family or friends. At one time we even stayed at the Salvation Army shelter because I was riding around in the car with all five of my kids with nowhere to go and they thought we were just going to the park and just taking a ride… because I didn’t tell them that we really didn’t have anywhere to go.”
Lolo on how she started running: “I was running with my dad because we didn’t have a car. As my mom would shift from place to place or dad would be in and out of my life, running was like the friend that never left. It was just always there. I’d say it was the only constant thing in my life.”
Lolo’s sister, Angelia Jefferson, on how Lolo was after 2008 Olympics: “She looked as if she did not just lose the biggest race of her life. I knew that she maybe had 30 minutes of sleep but she looked as if she was OK. But I knew in her heart that she was broken, that her heart was broken and the defeat that she felt and the failure that she felt… I was like, ‘Oh gosh, another knock’.”
Lolo on her outlook for the future: “I feel as if I have so much that is in me and I need to just finally close this chapter. I have gone through so many battles to get there. I’m focused I’m ready to do the work… Really making a conscious effort to focus on every detail to perfection.”
About ESPN Films
Created in March 2008, ESPN Films produces high-quality films showcasing compelling sports stories. In October 2009, ESPN Films launched the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 film series. Inspired by ESPN’s 30th Anniversary, the films that made up the series were a thoughtful and innovative reflection on the past three decades told through the lens of diverse and interesting sports fans and social commentators. Additional projects from ESPN Films include, among others, the critically acclaimed and Television Academy Honor-winning 16th Man, Cannes Film Festival official selection The Two Escobars, and the Peabody Award-winning Black Magic. Catching Hell, from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, and Renée, from filmmaker Eric Drath, were featured in the latest ESPN Films series that aired in fall 2011.
SEC on ESPN
ESPN, Inc., and the Southeastern Conference entered into a landmark 15-year agreement for extensive football, men’s and women’s basketball, Olympic sports and conference championship content across multiple ESPN entities beginning with the 2009-10 academic year. As a result, ESPN Regional Television became the over the-air syndication home for Southeastern Conference programming and the largest college sports syndication television package in the country. In 2012, SEC Network basketball games were distributed in 77 local television markets, representing 50.4 million homes, which is 44% of the U.S.; 2011 SEC Network football games were distributed in 99 local television markets, representing 79.1 million homes, which is 69% of the U.S.
The 24-hour college sports television network airs more than 650 live events annually and offers over 600 original studio shows. ESPNU has seen a steady increase since its inception on March 4, 2005 and is now in over 73 million households. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNUHD, now in over 20 million homes. The network has long-term carriage agreements with all 10 of the top multichannel TV providers – Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 208), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.
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