INDIANAPOLIS - 2008 Olympian and World Indoor champion Lolo Jones, who in 2008 made significant contributions to flood victims in her native Iowa, has been named Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field.
Jones will be honored on Saturday, December 6 at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada, in conjunction with USA Track & Field's 2008 Annual Meeting.
Jones 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. Following the race, 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. Jones' sponsors each matched Jones' $4,000 prize, bringing the total donation to $12,000.
"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.
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.
Jones also is active in USA Track & Field's Win With Integrity program, aimed at educating youth, parents, educators, and coaches about the positive results that come from leading a physically active, drug-free lifestyle while living with integrity.
"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."
"As a long-standing partner of USA Track & Field, Visa is proud to recognize Lolo for dedicating herself to helping others," said Michael Lynch, head of global sponsorship marketing, Visa Inc. "Lolo continues to inspire on and off the track, and we're proud to recognize her with the Visa Humanitarian of the Year Award."
For a full bio of Lolo Jones, visit the athlete bio section of www.usatf.org.
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