“In November, I was faced with a tough decision: to run with pain or to have surgery,” Jones said via Instagram. “I should have known that six months wasn’t enough time to recover from hip labral repair.
“I may have not shown you over the course of my career how to win an Olympic gold medal, but I hope that my journey has shown you how to get back up when you get knocked down,” she continued. “How to try again when you feel like you’ve already tried so many times.”
Jones was widely considered the favorite at the 2008 Games, but she hit the second-to-last hurdle and finished seventh in Beijing. In London’s 2012 Games, she came agonizingly close to the podium but finished fourth, a tenth of a second behind the bronze medal-winning time.
Jones also received attention for her story of having come out of an impoverished background in Iowa, one in which she and her family had to live in a church basement at one point. However, some have contended that she has gained greater fame than her athletic career should have merited, at least in part because of her striking looks.
“I don’t know what my future holds,” Jones said, leaving open the possibility of competing again in bobsled. She added the caption, “See you in 2020 homies,” and the hashtag “#illbeback” to her post, indicating that she continue her track career and go for a spot on the 202o Olympic team.
“Know this: I’m a fighter, and I want to finish this race strong, whatever that race is,” Jones said. “So I’m not retiring. But right now I just need to let my body heal and rest and recover, and just cheer on my fellow teammates as they go on to the Olympic trials, and then on to Rio. Go Team USA.”