Marion Jones

Marion Jones

Marion Lois Jones, also called Marion Jones-Thompson is a respected retired American athlete and basketball player. She was born on October 12, 1975 Los Angeles, California and specialized in track and field races. Standing at 5 feet 10 inches and weighing 68 kilograms, Jones is most often remembered for winning 3 gold medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia. What followed was a career-long trouble that haunted Jones. Her ties with using performance-enhancing drugs was almost always an allegation made against her, and her involvement in the BALCO scandal permanently put a stain on her professional career.

Jones’ mother and father split when she was very young, leading her mother to marry a retired postal worker Ira Toler. Jones picked up sports partly by following her step brother and also as a mechanism to cope with the pain brought on her by her family. By age 15, she was widely known to be a top athlete in Californian high school track racing and basketball. Jones graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997 where she met her first husband, trainer and shot putter C. J. Hunter.

Marion Jones was a legend in high school, winning the 100 meters sprint in the CIF California State Meet four times in a row. She won the award for the first two years as part of the Rio Mesa team, while winning the last two with Thousand Oaks High School. In the 1992 Olympic trials, she was offered a spot on the 4×100 meters relay team, but declined as she always felt more inclined and comfortable running solo on track. She continued to win state titles in the following years, and even served as a prominent basketball team player at the University of North Carolina, winning the NCAA championship in her freshman year. However, she soon left basketball to concentrate solely on track. The 1997 World Championships in Greece saw the 22 year old star winning her first 100 meters sprint at an international competition, while also ending up on 10th spot in the long jump category. Two years later in the 1999 World Championships, Jones’ quest to secure four gold medals was unsuccessful as she injured herself in the 200 m sprint after winning the 100 m sprint and coming third place in the long jump. In only two years, her ability at the long jump drastically improved.

In the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, Marion Jones won three gold medals later being stripped off them after admitting she had used performance enhancing drugs. She denied these allegations quite strongly until as late as 2007. She was eventually convicted and sentenced to six months in a federal penitentiary. Her first and second husbands had also both been convicted of wrongdoing in a similar regard in the past. Jones’ form after 2000 seemed to be on the decline as Ukrainian runner Zhanna Pintusevich-Block beat her for the first spot, a record that had not been broken for 6 years. In the 2004 Olympics, she came in fifth place in the Long Jump race. After her confession in 2007, Jones’ dream to secure gold medals at the 2008 Olympics failed to take real form after the International Olympics Committee banned her from participating in it in any capacity.

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