Lolo Jones was named the Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year by USA Track and Field. The Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field is the only USA Track & Field award to recognize off the track community service.
Lolo won the 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. on July 6 in a windy 12.29 seconds (+3.8mps), tying the #2 time ever run under any conditions.
Off the track, Jones gave her $4,000 in prize money to a fund assisting Renee Trout, a single mother from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who was a victim of the Iowa floods after winning the 100-meter hurdles at the Olympic Trials. Jones' sponsors each matched Jones' $4,000 prize, bringing the total donation to $12,000.
While in Des Moines for the Drake Relays in April, Jones gave each girl on Theodore Roosevelt High School track team a pair of spikes and made a $3,000 donation to the school to repair the track and buy hurdles. While competing at Roosevelt as a prep star, Jones set the Iowa state record in the 100m hurdles (13.40), a mark that still stands today.
"I've been receiving help from charities and other assistance programs since I was young so it was only natural for me to give back," said Jones.
Doug Logan best described Lolo Jones and her efforts to give back to the community.
"In order to succeed at the world-class level, athletes must be focused on themselves," said USATF CEO Doug Logan. "Athletes like Lolo Jones demonstrate that that focus does not come at the expense of giving back to your community, or to helping people in need. Lolo's generosity of spirit was accompanied by her financial generosity in assisting flood victims in her home state."
Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.