American Olympic bobsled athlete Lolo Jones says she only wanted to bring attention to how hard bobsledders work when she posted a video clip about her paycheck in the sharing site Vine.
In the video Jones shows the check she received from the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation for a season’s worth of training.
“Seven months with bobsled season, the whole season. That’s it?” she says of the $741.84 paycheck.
Her comments have backlashed in the form of criticism from fellow bobsledders saying she is receiving more than other athletes doing similar training.
“I don’t want to make anyone mad, and I’ve always wanted to help out the bobsled athletes. Some of them have debt because they’ve given their life to the sport.” Jones said in a statement.
She also joked that she was going to be a “little late on her rent” in the video.
While defending her video Lolo Jones says that she and her partner have had to “raise money for the bobsled to be funded just to finish the season, because only two of the three sleds are funded by the team.”
“I can’t imagine halfway through my track season having to stop and raise money to finish. The Vine of the paycheck is just showing the difference between track and bobsled, and to be honest bobsledders work more hours than track!”
Jones is also a track athlete who qualified for the London Summer Olympics last year, but failed to medal. She might be eligible to compete in the winter Olympics next year in Sochi, Russia.
The Bobsled and Skeleton Federation put out a statement as well stating:
“…the check encompassed: prize money provided by the international federation and a sponsor, ‘strictly based on her performances this season.’ Lolo did a good job in the races she competed in, but she didn’t compete in every race.” spokesperson Amanda Bird said. “The gold medal at World Championships was in a team event, which wasn’t a money race.”
She added that the federation knew that Jones was in jest with her video, “we knew Lolo’s video was intended to be fun, but we also recognized that it might be a sensitive topic for many of our athletes.” according to ABC News.
“The bottom line is that all Olympic athletes dedicate their lives to their sports and do not all receive lucrative paychecks like athletes in mainstream professional sports,” Jones said in her statement. “So hopefully this will make people appreciate just how hard Olympians work, often just for the love of the sport.”
Do you think that Lolo Jones’ video was insensitive to other athletes?