The appeal of the Lolo Jones story goes beyond the track and field community.
It's one of heartbreak, adversity and the hope of triumph at the end, the kind of storyline that appeals to the masses.
ESPN Films knows this and it's why Lolo, a documentary on the former LSU athlete and current Olympic hopeful, will premier 6 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, May 21, on ESPNU as part of the SEC "Storied" documentary series.
Jones has had a life that makes for compelling theater. She grew up in poverty, often homeless, in her home state of Iowa and had to leave her itinerant family behind to pursue her track and field ambition. That eventually led her to the powerhouse college track and field program at LSU, where she won multiple NCAA championships.
She became an international figure in her best event, the 100 meter hurdles (and 60 meter hurdles indoors), but the event has brought its share of heartbreak. She failed to make the 2004 U.S. Olympic team then became the favorite to win the event in 2008, only to stumble over the final hurdle, costing her a chance at gold.
Jones is back again. After undergoing spinal surgery since the 2008 Games, she'll try to make the Olympic team again later this month at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. She's had a solid stretch since 2008, setting the U.S. record in the 60 meter hurdles (7.72) in 2010. She's a two-time world champion in the event.
If she qualifies in Eugene, she'll head to London for the 2012 Olympic Games in August. The final of the 100 meter hurdles is Aug. 7, two days after her 30th birthday.
If she's finally able to win the elusive gold, it would be a Hollywood ending. Either way, her story has proven to be worthy of film.