This week’s 30 for 30 piece focuses on Marion Jones Press Pause. This is an interesting documentary because it focuses on a track and field Olympic star, which as a sport does not get much recognition in a sports realm obsessed with football, basketball, and baseball.
The documentary starts out with Marion Jones standing in front of the courthouse and saying, “I have betrayed your trust.” That is one powerful way to start off a documentary but it’s the only way to start the story that is Marion Jones.
I must admit that I had no idea who Marion Jones was so just in case a lot of you are like me, let me give you some insight into Marion Jones. Jones, according to the reporters in the doc, was the most popular female athlete of the 90s (even bigger than the USWST team). She was the fastest women on the earth and it was easy to love her. She also was the star of the Sydney Olympics winning 5 medals. Fun fact, but she also played college basketball at UNC and won a championship with them.
She was accused of doping in the same scandal that brought down Barry Bonds and of course she denied the allegations (like Lance Armstrong). It wouldn’t be nearly an interesting enough story if she had been honest about it from the get go. Since she was accused of doping the documentary shows her being tested a lot. Which that struck me because was she only being tested more “randomly” because of the allegations or because she was Marion Jones so they wanted to make sure she was clean? Plus I’m fascinated by how she was able to get away with doping.
Marion was asked under oath if she knew what the drugs were and instead of taking a few minutes to consult her lawyers on how she wanted to answer, Jones lied which is illegal. You are not allowed to lie to the fed people, you just aren’t. So Jones gets sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and you might be surprised to know that Jones actually got into a fight in jail. It makes sense that one of her roommates would try to come at her because not only is she Marion Jones, but she’s the new kid on the block. Jones fought back and ended up in solitary confinement, which means no visitors nothing. Just you and your thoughts 23 hours a day.
Upon her release, Jones decided to share her story. She wants people, especially young people to know that they control their destiny. She not only did her time but she confronted her past and decided to help others avoid her same mistake.
And of course because she’s an athlete she went on to play in the WNBA for the Tulsa Shock and was actually kind good.
So if you are looking for an interesting documentary Press Play on Press Pause and learn about the fall of the best female Olympian the United States has ever had.