Bobsledder Steven Holcomb rips Lolo Jones for complaining about paycheck
As most of you know, Lolo Jones has been training to compete in bobsledding at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The track and field star decided to make the switch so she would not have to wait until the 2016 Olympics to compete for a medal, but she has apparently been unhappy with the pay.
On Monday, Jones posted a Vine video expressing her disappointment with the $741.84 paycheck she got from the US Bobsled and Skeleton Foundation. The clip is below. You can click the icon in the top left corner to turn the volume on and off.
Steven Holcomb, an Olympic gold medalist and the most accomplished bobsledder in US history, did not find Jones’ charade to be entertaining. In fact, he said it was a “slap in the face” that irritated other athletes in the sport.
“It wasn’t taken very well,” Holcomb said, via USA Today. “People were really kind of insulted. You just made $741, more than most athletes in the sport. So what are you complaining about?
“The way it came across to a lot of the athletes here was kind of snobby because she’s one of the most well-known athletes in the world and she’s making pretty good money in endorsements (as a two-time Olympic hurdler). And to basically turn around and slap us in the face because you didn’t make any money this year in bobsledding while taking money from other athletes? She slapped pretty much every athlete in the U.S. federation in the face. That was the general consensus.”
Jones released a statement through Red Bull, which fittingly happens to be one of her sponsors, on Monday night apologizing for the video, saying it was not meant to offend anyone.
“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 said. “The bottom line is that all Olympic athletes dedicate their lives to their sports and do not receive lucrative paychecks like athletes in mainstream professional sports. So hopefully this will make people appreciate just how hard Olympians work, often just for the love of the sport.”
Olympic athletes are compensated very little if at all, which infuriates people like this NBA owner and others who want to protect their assets. However, Holcomb’s point that Jones makes more money than a lot of others through endorsements is well taken.
“She’s brand new to the sport and only been doing it for a few months and she’s upset because she got $741?” Holcomb said. “I’ve been doing it for 16 years and I didn’t get a whole lot more.”
If Jones truly was trying to bring attention to an issue that plagues a lot of her fellow Olympic athletes, she did a poor job of it.