Winter Olympics 2014: Lolo Jones' spot on U.S. bobsled team brings controversy

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Two athletes contend Lolo Jones received a spot in the Winter Olympics for her fame gained in track and field.

Lolo Jones is headed to the 2014 Winter Olympics as a member of the U.S. women's bobsled team, but the selection of Jones has been questioned by a pair of athletes who were passed over for the team. On Friday, the team's leading driver, Elana Meyers, defended the selection of Jones in a Facebook post.

"The three athletes that were chosen for the Olympic team were chosen because of the numbers they have put up this season. In a sport where medals are won and lost by hundredths of a second, it is very important to analyze all the numbers and make the best decision to try to win Olympic medals for our country. Everyone may not agree with the decision, but the fact of the matter is, the numbers supported the selection committee's decision and 3 athletes were chosen. The three that were chosen have worked hard to earn there spots, and I am proud to call them my Olympic teammates."

Katie Eberling and Emily Azevedo, two athletes who were passed on in favor of Jones, voiced their displeasure with the decision with USA Today Sports on Thursday. The pair contend that Jones was selected for the spot for her fame gained during her time as a member of the USA Track and Field team in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

"I should have been working harder on gaining Twitter followers than gaining muscle mass," said Emily Azevedo, who along with teammate Katie Eberling, was in the running for the spot Jones received.

Eberling said there was an agenda to put Jones on the team.

"I feel this year there was a certain agenda," Eberling said. "It's no fault of my teammates. There's been a lot of inconsistencies and that makes you wonder what's going on. It's not right."

Meyers, 29, previously received a bronze medal in the 2010 Olympics for the two-woman bobsled and earned gold medals in the 2012 and 2013 World Championships for mixed team. Jones nearly won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics for the 100-meter hurdles before tripping on the second-to-last hurdle.

The Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Winter Games is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 7 and will be televised on NBC.

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