Lolo Jones is a lightning rod. She's been polarizing since the 2008 Olympics. Jones' social media accounts and high profile have helped her remain in the spotlight over the years. In some cases, her high profile has made her a target. Ever since failing to medal in the 2012 Olympics in London, she's been training to gain a spot in the Winter Olympics through the U.S. Bobsled team, efforts that paid off this week.

When skier Lindsey Vonn, NBC's original face of the 2014 Winter Olympics, withdrew due to injury, the Peacock was short of a star to promote for Sochi. That was until Jones was named to the Olympic Bobsled team this past weekend. As a result, NBC quickly trotted out stories featuring Lolo and she was on the Today show on Tuesday talking about Sochi being a "road to redemption."

Her selection has been met with some suspicion. Sports on Earth's Selena Roberts said putting Jones on the team over an experienced brakeman smacks of NBC's influence

NBC denies Roberts' claims that it had a hand in Jones' selection. "Preposterous" and "utterly ridiculous" were among the replies.

There's no doubt that NBC is going to hang its proverbial hat on Lolo for as long as she has a chance to medal and the redemption storyline will get old very quickly. It was quite convenient for Jones to become the Face of NBC's Winter Olympic coverage, but saying it had an influence on her making the team is a stretch. 

Jones is a familiar name to Olympic viewers and that should help the network's gain some attention to bobsled when the event airs in primetime.

[Sports Illustrated]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.