In a sport that enters the mainstream every four years, most eyes will be focused on the athlete crouched in the back of the third sled.
Sometime after midnight, after the U.S. Olympic bobsled team was named, Lolo Jones updated her résumé. The blinking cursor danced across the screen as she added her new title, "The Official Twitter of Olympic Hurdler and Bobsledder Lolo Jones."
Not surprisingly, the Olympian who raised her profile in 140 characters or less shared her good news the same way. She videoed herself updating her Twitter profile and then posted the clip on her Facebook page, a complete sweep of the social media podium, if you will.
Before the week ended, three teammates said Jones was given the final brakeman spot because of her fame. Katie Eberling and Emily Azevedo, veterans who didn't make the team, told USA TODAY Sports they weren't given the same opportunities to succeed as Jones.
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On a team that features two gold medal-contending pilots, Steven Holcomb and Elana Meyers, Jones will continue to be the center of attention. In a sport that enters the mainstream every four years, most eyes will be focused on the athlete crouched in the back of the third sled. After all, when it comes to Lolo Jones, it's best not to look away.
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Her two previous trips to the Olympics ended in tears and a bout of depression. In 2008, she was favored to win the 100-meter hurdles and was in the lead when she clipped the ninth of 10 hurdles and stumbled to seventh place. In 2012, she was fourth, a tenth of a second off the podium.
Jones picked up bobsledding shortly after the London Games at Meyer's suggestion, and Jones' quest for a medal after such heartbreak probably will be irresistible TV ratings gold. "I think it's great to have a recognizable face and story line from the Summer Games in the Winter Games," NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said.
The notion that the attention she brings influenced her rise is an insult to her hard work and talent, Jones has said. She's also irked by those who maintain that being a brakeman is as easy as a push and a hop.
Jones points to physics to explain the importance of the push. "I am part of the engine that pushes the bobsled," she said in an interview before last week's team selection. "I'm only pushing five, six seconds. In a hurdle race, that's a pretty good distance. But how much am I really helping if a driver is driving the rest of the 45-50 seconds?"
A lot, she said.
"Whatever we push at the start gets multiplied by three because of velocity," she said. "I hear about velocity about 20 times a day in practice ... velocity, velocity, velocity."
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On occasion, athletes and coaches from the track world tease her on Twitter about the comparable ease of her winter pursuit. "If they knew how much drivers freak out about this one push — the effects of it keep going and going and going — then they wouldn't say such ignorant things. But then I say ignorant stuff on Twitter all the time," she added with a laugh.
With more than 375,000 followers, only snowboarder Shaun White and hockey player Patrick Kane among U.S. Olympians have more followers than Jones.
Jones, 31, has been a polarizing figure in track and field and bobsled.
When she posted a video of her paycheck from the bobsled federation last summer showing she had received just $741.84 for the whole season, some veterans took exception, given their long financial struggles and Jones' robust portfolio of major sponsors.
Given it took Jones just two years to make the Winter Olympic team, and Lauryn Williams, a former Olympic sprinter, just one season, Jones also brushes off the notion that bobsled is a breeze to master.
"I don't think it says anything about the sport, because the sport is tough," Jones said. "I think that's what I don't like, the fact that people will be like, 'Oh, it must be that bobsled is untalented if Lolo can come in and just be one of the top bobsledders in one year.' But they forget that I'm one of the best Americans for track and field."
Though the majority of push athletes come to bobsled from other sports, most notably former NFL running back Herschel Walker, it's not as if every fleet-footed athlete can cross over. Jones and Williams are the ninth and 10th U.S. athletes to have competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Jones knows that the best way to outrun the criticism is to succeed. "The trending was going towards Lolo, and she's a great athlete. And at the end of the day, that's who we think is a better brakeman for the Games," said Darrin Steele, CEO of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.
On Jan. 5, Jones raced with Meyers and finished in second place. Two weeks later, Jones and driver Jazmine Fenlator finished seventh in the World Cup competition in Igls, Austria.
Later that night, after she made the Olympic team, she logged into Facebook and typed. She described how hitting a hurdle in 2008 forced her to try to redeem herself four years later. And the fourth-place finish in London led her "to find another way to accomplish the dream."
"Bobsled was my fresh start," she wrote.
"Bobsled humbled me.
"Bobsled made me stronger.
"Bobsled made me hungry.
"Bobsled made me rely on faith.
"Bobsled gave me hope.
"I push a bobsled but bobsled pushed me to never give up on my dreams."
Not long after she posted those thoughts, fans praised her inspiring words. Others took aim, some with insensitive comments.
Somehow it seemed unlikely that fans (or relatives) were posting such barbs on the Facebook page of the last hockey player named to the roster.
But again, when it comes to Lolo Jones, there's no shortage of opinions. No wonder it's so hard to look away.
Follow Kelly Whiteside on Twitter @KellyWhiteside.