“I was such a mental mess the night before,” she said. “Just thinking, ‘Am I healed from surgery? Am I fit? Am I in shape?’ Just to have this one under my belt and with such a tough field — it’s just a sigh of relief that all that hard work paid off.”
The heavy favorite in the 100 hurdles at the 2008 Olympics, Jones clipped the ninth hurdle, shattering her gold medal hopes in an instant. Before she could even dream about redemption at this summer’s London Games, she had to get back on the track. The 29-year-old Jones had surgery in August to fix a tethered spinal cord.
In the first few months afterward, when various parts of her body would hurt, Jones would “freak out” and fret to her doctor: “The surgery didn’t work. My career is ruined.”
“Typical athlete,” she said. “But he’s just like, ‘Calm down. Your body’s adjusting.’ And sure enough, after a week, things would go back to normal.”