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Marion Jones fall from grace.


Marion celebrates with Belize and American flag!


"The victory laps were far more intriguing than the victory sprints. Jones gave NBC's cameras an all-purpose performance--she laughed, she cried, she hugged her mother and her brother, she went multinational with the traditional flag wave--carrying the United States flag in one hand and the flag of Belize in the other."
"My mother is from the country of Belize and all of my family on her side are Belizeans," Jones said. "And so although I'm a proud American, I have a huge support system in the country of Belize. I consider myself half-Belizean and I wanted to show my support for that country as well as the country I was born and bred in, the USA."


Marion Jones in the News

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Belize honours Marion Jones

Marion Jones, the fastest woman athlete in the world and the winner of three gold medals (and two bronze) at the Sydney Olympics has accepted an appointment to be Belize's Sports Ambassador at Large.

Marion was in Sydney, Australia when she received a surprise message from Prime Minister Said Musa, inviting her to become Belize's Ambassador at Large and conferring on her the high honour of the Order of Belize.

Sports conscious Belizeans will be thrilled to learn that the star athlete of track & field will be coming to Belize sometime soon to accept the award. She has sent a message to the people of Belize saying that they are constantly in her thoughts. She had heard about Hurricane Keith and continues to keep herself informed of the evolving situation.

Marion's message to Belizeans states:

"My heart goes out to all the people of Belize who are suffering from the hurricane. You should know that people all over the world who don't even know you are pulling for you and hoping and praying for your safety. You are especially constantly in my thoughts and I look forward to being with you in the near future. God bless you all."

Marion's speech after receiving 'Order of Belize' award:

"What an evening, what and evening. This is a remarkable honour and I feel privileged to be standing here in front of you tonight and celebrating all of my accomplishments, my family's accomplishments and everyone's accomplishments. I am only twenty-five years old and sitting down there tonight and listening to my family and friends talk about me, gosh, I sound and felt like I was forty. But it seems like a long time. I remember visiting Belize when I was how old ma? About eight years old and falling in love with this place that I'd heard so much about. And ever since then, I've come back several times to see my family and to celebrate Belize's beauty, its nature, its people, its soul."

"And so after I graduated college in 1997 and made the decision to compete in athletics full time, I knew that it was more than just running out there on the track, I knew I was out there for a reason. And perhaps at twenty-one years old I didn't realise what that reason was. I knew I enjoyed track and field, I enjoyed my sports, but I knew deep down that I was out there for a deeper more meaningful reason."

"And so in June of 200 when I made my first Olympic team, and it was my first, I still wondered, gosh it's a wonderful sport and I'm having a ball, but why, why am I doing all of this? And so in September of 2000 when I travelled to Sydney, Australia and I went in there with the bold statement of saying I was going to win five gold medals, I still wondered, why am I really, really doing this? I'm loving it, I'm having a ball, but there is something more, I can't really put my hand on it? And so I crossed the finish line for the hundred metres final and I won by the way (crowd and Marion laughs)... And I crossed that finish line and immediately saw my family I knew what it was all about (voice breaking)... it was about family. (Crowd cheers)."


Click here to visit Belizeans.com Olympics page!


Jones sprinted into history Saturday by becoming the first woman to win five track medals in one Olympics: three gold, two bronze. She is the first woman since Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988 to win three gold medals in track at an Olympics.

Jones loses long jump and five-gold dream

29 September 2000

Marion Jones's Olympic dream of five gold medals vanished in the long jump pit on Friday with four fouls in six attempts.


Jones grinned ruefully as she fouled her final attempt and had to settle for the bronze medal behind 1992 Olympic champion Heike Drechsler of Germany and Fiona May of Italy.

"The drive for five is not alive," she told reporters. "I didn't regret it at all, I had a shot at it and it didn't pan out. Inside I'm disappointed but she deserved the gold."

Jones completes sprint double

28 September 2000

Marion Jones put controversy out of her head for 21.84 seconds on Thursday to complete the second stage of her historic quest for five Olympic gold, comfortably winning the women's 200 metres at the Sydney Games.


Jones celebrate after winning gold in 200-meter race

Jones, who has had a difficult time this week since news that her shot putter husband C.J. Hunter had failed drugs tests, showed no sign of tension in a flowing and relaxed run, winning with a few metres to spare to add the 200 title to her 100 gold.

Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas, who took silver in 22.27, and Sri Lanka's Susanthika Jayasinghe, who was third in 22.28, were in a race of their own as the 24-year-old Jones came off the bend a few metres ahead of the rest of the field.


Freeman congratulate Jones (left) after 200 meter race.
Freeman runs with her Aborginal flag (right)
and the Australian flag.

She cruised home in top gear to clock the fastest time in the world this year.

Jones is bidding to become the first woman to win five gold medals in athletics at the same Games. She will now compete in the long jump and 4X100 and 4X400 relays.

News that Hunter had tested positive four times for the steroid nandrolone has overshadowed events on the track in the last few days. The world has been watching to see how Jones copes with the controversy swirling around her husband.

Jones, a tall former basketball player, looked relaxed before the start. When the stadium announcer made a mistake and introduced her as an athlete from the Bahamas, she shrugged her shoulders and smiled.

The run was as composed and relaxed as the pre-race body language. It was textbook sprinting smooth and controlled.

The only difference to her 100 metres triumph last weekend was that this time there were no tears and wild celebrations just a smile and a look of relief.

"I feel relief and excitement," Jones said. "I'm happy that I have got my sprints done. Now I can really concentrate on my challenges ahead. That is the long jump tomorrow.

"That is my real test tomorrow. I am going to have to dig down deep. I need to do that."

Australia's Cathy Freeman, who set the hearts of a whole nation racing when she won the 400 metres on Monday, failed to make an impact, finishing back in seventh in 22.53.

MARION JONES

Events: 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m Relay, 4x400m Relay, Long Jump

Height: 5-10

Weight: 150

PRs: 100m: 10.65 (1998); 200m: 21.62 (1998); Long Jump: 23-11.75 (1998); 400m: 49.59 (2000)

Born: October 12, 1975, in Los Angeles, Calif.
(Mother is from Belize and Marion holds dual nationality)

Current Residence: Apex, N.C.

High School: Rio Mesa HS (Oxnard, Calif.) '91; Thousand Oaks HS (Calif.) '93

College: North Carolina '97

Coach: Trevor Graham

Agent: Charles Wells

Club: Nike Marion Jones


Results

Results:

Women's Athletics 100m Final Race
Rank:   #1
Name: JONES, Marion
Country: USA
Time:   10.75
Won: GOLD MEDAL

04/17/01 Marion Jones USA Today article Click here!
01/10/01 Marion Jones Vogue article Click here!

Nicknames: Hard Nails
Hobbies: Music .
Amusing sporting event: -
Major injuries: Back injury that forced her to withdraw from remainder of 1999 season. Kept her out of the 200m finals at the World Championships in Seville.

Broken foot while practising with the US basketball team at the World University Games, broke her foot again in Dec 1996 and missed the rest of the college basketball season.
Superstitions: -
Memorable achievement: -
Sports at national level: Basketball , 1994 NCCA Basketball Championships, 1995 US World University Games.

Scored 1716 points in the three years she played basketball at the University of North Carolina. She went to University on a basketball scholarship. North Carolina went 92-10, didn't lose an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

A terrific basketball player, JONES scored 22.8 points per game as a high school senior and was named California Division I player of the Year. As a point guard, she helped North Carolina to the NCAA title in her first year of college basketball.

Sporting relatives: Husband C.J. HUNTER won gold for US in shot put
Famous relatives: Husband C.J. HUNTER.
Why this sport: Influenced by Florence GRIFFITHS-JOYNER.
After she watches the 1984 Summer Olympics on TV.
Most influential person: -
Most admired person: -
Ambitions: From her coach: We're talking about 10.50 or better for the 100, 21-flat for the 200. And in the long jump at least 25 feet (Galina CHRISTYAKOVA's world standard is 24'8.25 , Joyner Kers

JONES on success: Greatness is defined by someone who is not simply awesome and wonderful in the sport they compete in but goes beyond that and is great in whatever they do off the track or off the court. They can make a difference in the world, whether it's by helping kids or helping people in need.

Has in her sight Florence GRIFFITHS-JOYNER'S 10.49s. Major awards: Two-time World 100m champion ; 1998 US 100m, 200m and Long Jump champion; 1998 World Cup 100m and 200m champion; 1999 Long Jump world bronze medaillst 1998 Goodwill Games 100m, 200m champion; 6-time US champion; 2nd in Long Jump at 1994 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Personal records: 100m-10.65 ; Long Jump-23-11.75 ; 400m-50.36 .

General interests: Jones dominated the 100 metres, 200 metres and long jump in 1998, losing only once in 36 competitions. She was favoured to win these events at the 1999 Track and Field World Championships in Seville and cruised to a gold medal in the 100 metres with a meet-record 10.70s. But she could only get bronze in the long jump and a back injury in the 200 semi-finals scratched her from the rest of the competition.

It's wonderful for women's athletics that you have women running consistently fast times, Jones said. I think it's wonderful you have three women sitting up here running incredibly fast times. We're all young women.

She met her husband at the University of North Carolina where she was a college basketball star and he was the university's throw coach. CJ Hunter prompted her to return to track and field.

In Seville, before her injury she said, I'm not putting any pressure on myself by talking about times but if the fast time are needed here I am ready to do them.

In Sydney 2000 she will attempt to surpass the American record shared by Jesse OWENS and Carl LEWIS by winning five track and field gold medals.

Kids called her Hard Nails for her stoicism and spunk. I had no use for dolls or any girl things or even girlfriends , says Marion , who loved snakes and wasn't afraid of the dark.

Mother is from Belize and Marion holds dual nationality.

JONES never lost in high school competition after her freshman year, and she holds the national high school record in the 200 meters.

She trains only with men, including 400 star Antonio PETTIGREW.

Ran the 100m in 10.71s - the fastest 100m by any woman other than Florence GRIFFITH JOYNER in Chengdu, China 1998.

Performed the world leading long jump of 7.30 metres in Prefontaine Classic, May 31, 1998.

Became the first woman in 50 years to win all three individual events (100m, 200m and long jump - National Championships, 1998.

Catching Up With The World's Fastest Woman

By S. Jason Clemmons

She wants an undefeated season. She wants five gold medals. She wants a world record...or two. She wants respect. And if all goes according to plan, Marion Jones will have all that and more by next summer. But who is this super-woman? Where did she come from? And what makes her think she can accomplish any or all of these self-imposed challenges? If you've never heard of Marion Jones before, such questions are certainly valid. And worthy of some answers.

Currently track and field's newest and brightest star, the 23-year old hopes to make history at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia next year--aiming for an astounding quintuple victory. She addressed her Olympic intentions while participating in this spring's Duke Invitational, noting, "If this doesn't benefit the sport, I don't know what will." But as lofty or fantastic as it all sounds, one glimpse at Jones turning the corner and propelling herself yards ahead of the field during a competition quickly convinces most people of the real possibility that her goals are not unreachable. In fact, Olympic organizers have already arranged the event schedules to allow Jones the opportunity to compete in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and the long jump. The rest is up to her.

No stranger to sports and competition, Jones excelled in both track and basketball during her youth in California. She won numerous events throughout high school and still holds the US Junior women's record in the 200 meters (22.58 s). She didn't take up the long jump until her senior year of high school--and at her first competition in the event, she jumped out of the box. At age fifteen, Jones was invited to be an alternate on the US 4x100m relay team that competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. She declined, however, waiting for the chance to "earn" a spot that would ensure her participation and capture the world's attention. 'But as lofty or fantastic as it all sounds, one glimpse at Jones turning the corner and propelling herself yards ahead of the field during a competition quickly convinces most people of the real possibility that her goals are not unreachable.' At the University of North Carolina, she continued to compete in track and field, but found more notoriety as a point-guard on the hardwood. As a freshman, Jones played on the Tarheels' 1994 NCAA National Championship team, and would eventually lead her team to three conference titles during her career. Jones suffered a broken bone in her foot in late 1995, which forced her to redshirt the 1995-96 basketball season and prevented her from vying for a shot at potential Olympic glory in 1996. Once fully recovered, she ended the 1996-97 season by earning the MVP award of the 1997 ACC Tournament. After being eliminated by the Tarheels in what would be Jones' last matchup against UNC's archrival, Duke coach Gail Goestenkors remarked of the fiesty floor-leader, "She's the best defensive player in the conference and perhaps the country." Still, playing basketball in an area notorious for sustaining the highest density of hoops-rabid fans in the world didn't deter Marion's love for track and field. Jones graduated and passed on her final year of basketball eligibility to turn her attention solely to track and field training, preparing herself for the upcoming Olympic Games in Sydney.

With her athletic focus narrowed, Marion burst onto the international scene in 1997. She captured the season's best times in the 100m (10.76s) and 200m (21.76s) and the American-best long jump (22' 9") en route to receiving a myriad of accolades and achieving instant celebrity status in many countries she visited. In 1998, her second year as a professional, Jones was awarded her second consecutive Jesse Owens International Trophy Award, which recognizes the most impressive athlete of the year. To most followers of the sport, it was the Year of Marion. She became the first American woman to be ranked number one simultaneously in three different events: the 100m, the 200m, and the long jump. She ran the fourth-fastest 100m ever and became the second-fastest woman in history (Florence Griffith-Joyner holds the top 3 times in the 100m). In her only run at the indoor distance of 60m, she tied Gail Devers' American record of 6.95 seconds. Marion shattered her own personal bests several times throughout the season and proved to the world that she is clearly capable of world-record potential.

'As past performances prove, Marion Jones is an athlete worth watching. Audiences are witnessing the birth of a star and the rejuvenation of a sport.'

Oddly, the breadth and intensity of her domination seems to have eclipsed her individual achievements. No one, least of all herself, expects anything other than a first-place finish when she competes. She breaks stadium, meet and personal records so often, she frequently laps the statisticians, bettering one time or distance before her previous best can be verified and recorded. [Actually, less than twenty-four hours prior to my finishing this article, Jones ran the fastest 200m in the world this season (21.81s) at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, knocking three-hundredths of a second off the previous season best--her own 21.84s sprint in South Africa in March. Chances are, before many of you read this, she will have upped the ante again] Her persistence is equaled only by her consistency. She ran sixteen of the twenty fastest 100m races of the 1998 season, including the top six times. In 36 event finals, she came in second only once.

So what could possibly have pushed Jones to improve even more during the off-season? That one loss. In her final competition of 1998, Jones came in second in the long jump to Germany's Heike Drechsler during the World Cup meet in Johannesburg, South Africa. One loss. That pushed her to improve her long jump technique. It pushed her to become a better athlete by focusing on "how", not just "how far" or "how fast". It pushed her to hunger even more for the perfection she seeks and the desire to succeed.

The early part of the 1999 season has given her more opportunities to focus on longer distances and relays. At the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in April, Jones easily won the 400-meter race with a time of 50.79 seconds, the third-fastest time at that distance so far this season. At the Penn Relays, Jones anchored the Nike International team to victory in the 4x200 relay, closing a 2-meter deficit and finishing 7 meters ahead of the Adidas team. But don't think all this means she's ignoring her usual events--she's just adding to her repertoire. The world will get a much anticipated preview of Sydney's festivities this summer at the World Championships in Seville, where Jones hopes to compete for gold in the 100m, 200m, 4x400 relay and long jump.

As past performances prove, Marion Jones is an athlete worth watching. Audiences are witnessing the birth of a star and the rejuvenation of a sport. It is almost ironic that so soon after the sports world mourned the loss of the world's fastest and flashiest woman, Florence Griffith-Joyner, and bid a heartfelt farewell to retiring legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the baton of excellence, determination and perseverance has been passed on to a new generation of female athletes--women who are destined to follow in the footsteps of the legends and inevitably leave their own marks along the way. Marion Jones is undoubtedly a large part of the sport's future. But it's early yet...and she's only getting warmed up.

Career Highlights:
2-time World 100m champion ('97, ;99); 1998 U.S. 100m, 200m & LJ champion; 1998 World Cup 100m & 200m champion; 1999 LJ world bronze medalist; 2000 Olympic Trials 100m, 200m & LJ champion; 1998 Goodwill Games 100m, 200m champion; 9-time U.S. champion; 2nd in LJ at 1994 NCAA Outdoor Champs.

Jones will try to make history as she attempts to win five events at the Sydney Olympics the 100m, 200m, long jump, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay. Also a terrific basketball player, Jones scored 22.8 points per game as a high school senior and was named California Division I Player of the Year. As a point guard, she helped North Carolina to the NCAA title in her first year of college ball. Jones missed the 1996 season after breaking a bone in her foot (5th metatarsal) the previous fall while prepping for the U.S. basketball team at the World University Games...Jones was inspired to be a track athlete by the late Florence Griffith Joyner...never lost in high school competition after her freshman year, and she holds the national high school record in the 200m. When she graduated from high school she was #2 on both the 100m and LJ all-time lists...A journalism/communications major while at North Carolina, she earned nearly $750,000 in prize money in her last two meets of the 1998 season...married shot putter C.J. Hunter on October 3, 1998...coached by Trevor Graham, a Jamaican Olympian...trains only with men, including 400m star Antonio Pettigrew.

2000: Won 100m, 200m and long jump at Olympic Trials (10.88, 21.94 and 23-0.5)...Opened the season with world-leading 49.59 in the 400m at Mt. SAC...ran anchor on 4x200m USA team that shattered the world record (1:27.46) at USA vs. THE WORLD at the Penn Relays ...won 100m at Grand Prix Osaka meet (10.84) and fourth in long jump (20-7)...ran 10.91 while winning the Rome Grand Prix...won the Zurich Grand Prix race in 10.95...also ran a wind-aided 10.68 at Stockholm on August 1...set season best of 10.78 while winning at London on August 5...best 400m was 49.59 at Mt. SAC Relays...her long jump best is the 23-0.5 at the Olympic Trials..

1999: Won 200m at USA Outdoors (22.10), 2nd in long jump (22-3)... gold in 100m at World Champs (10.70), bronze in LJ (22-5); dnf 200m semis (injured back), withdrew from meet before relay finals... did not compete for remainder of season... ranked # 1 in 100m, 200m and # 3 LJ in world by T&FN, bests of 10.70, 21.81, 50.79 and 23-0.

1998: Undefeated in every competition until her last one of the year, where Heike Drechsler of Germany beat her in the long jump for the World Cup gold...in all, won 19 GP competitions, and 35 of 36 total...in her only 400m in six years she won Mt SAC with a 50.36 PR...triple win at the USA Champs (10.72, 22.24, 23-8w)...won 100m (10.90) and 200m (21.80) at Goodwill Games...won 100m (10.83) and LJ (23-4.75) at GP Final...won 100m (10.65 PR) and 200m (21.62 PR) at World Cup; 2nd in long jump (22-11.75)...showed unprecedented consistency at high levels, with 17 of 19 100 races under 10.90...ranked #1 in world in 100m, 200m and LJ by T&FN; only Carl Lewis and Polish great Irena Szewinska had done so before...the unanimous choice as Track & Field News' Athlete of the Year...bests of 10.65, 21.62, 50.36 and 23-11.75.

1997: Won 100m gold at World Champs (10.83), 10th in long jump (21-9), second leg on gold medal winning U.S. 4x 100m (41.47 AR...won 100m (10.97) and long jump (22-9) at USA Outdoors...ranked #1 in world at 100m and 200m by T&FN (#2 U.S. in LJ)...bests of 10.76, 21.76 and 22-9.

1996: Did not compete (rehabbing broken foot).

1995: Won long jump (20-10.5) at ACC Champs; false-started in the 100m heats; made 200m final but did not compete...4th in long jump at NCAA Outdoors (21-0.5), second leg on 5th place 4x100m....11th in long jump at USA Outdoors...ranked #8 in U.S. at LJ by T&FN...bests of 23.96w and 21-9.5.

1994: Won 100m (11.67) and long jump (20-3.75) at ACC Champs, 2nd at 200m, also ran on the winning 4x100m (45.39)...2nd in long jump (22-1.75), 6th in 200m at NCAA Outdoors, 4th in 100m semis, second leg on 5th place 4x 100m...ranked #6 in U.S. at LJ by T&FN...bests of 11.28, 23.00 and 22-0.5...

1993: Won the 100m and 200m double at the California HS state meet for the fourth straight year, and added the long jump for a record nine career wins...ranked #8 in U.S. at LJ by T&FN.

1992: As a high schooler, was 4th in 200m (22.58 AJR) and fifth in 100m at Olympic Trials ...turned down offer to run on U.S. 4x100m relay at the Olympics ... won 100m and 200m at USA Juniors...5th in 100m at World Juniors, 7th in 200m, anchor on silver medal winning 4x100m... won the 100m and 200m at the California HS state meet... High School Athlete of the Year...ranked #5 in U.S. at both 100m and 200m by T&FN...bests of 11.14, 22.58 and 54.44.

1991: Won the 100m and 200m at the California HS state meet...8th in 100m at USA Outdoors, 4th in 200m... won 100m and 200m at USA Juniors...High School Athlete of the Year...ranked #10 in U.S. at 100m by T&FN (#5 U.S. at 200)...bests of 11.17, 22.76 and 52.91.

1990: Won the 100m and 200m at the California HS state meet...bests of 11.62, 23.70 and 54.21.

1989: Bests of 12.01, 24.06 and 56.73.

8-30-00

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