Winter Sports

Jenny Jones is Great Britain's golden girl at Winter Olympics

Jones with her hard earned bronze medal (©GettyImages)
Jones with her hard earned bronze medal (©GettyImages).

The winter Olympics is capturing the imagination of the British public just like the summer Olympics in London did in 2012.

So often the winter Olympics is viewed as the poor relation to its summer rival but with the help of new stars, such as Britain's snowboarding slopestyle bronze medallist Jenny Jones, the Olympic passion has been ignited once again.

I defy anyone to have not felt inspired or patriotic whilst watching the nail-biting finish to the womens slopestyle competition on Sunday. We were all sat with nerves jangling as competitor after competitior tried to beat Jones in the race for medals. Luckily for Jones only two managed to overtake the Bristolian as she captured the bronze medal and our first medal of this year's winter games which sparked huge celebrations for her and her supporters.

Jones' bronze was in fact just the 23rd medal captured by Britain during the 90 years that the winter Olympics has been existence. It was also the first medal captured on the snow as all the previous 22 medals had been won on the ice. These facts point to how much of an achievement this was for Jones and Britain at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Sochi.

33-year-old Jones has a remarkable story to tell. She began competing as a 17-year-old and funded her career and love for the sport through a variety of jobs, including a maid's job in a chalet and a job in a cardboard factory. Jones has travelled across the world to continue to train,fund and enjoy her sport and her bronze medal was the culmination of all that effort.

Born in Bristol Jones was very close to retiring before it was announced in 2012 that slopestyle was to be included in the Olympics for the first time in Sochi. This gave her career the lift it needed as she now focused on her ultimate goal of competing in an Olympic games. Through hard work and determination, and despite a heavy fall last year which gave her concussion, Jones has achieved her dream and has catapulted snowboarding to the centre of the public's attention.

Having re-written Olympic history she now hopes to take a well deserved rest from the sport but has no immediate plans to retire.

UK Sport have targeted at least three medals from this year's games, which, if achieved, will mean they will have had their most successful games since 1936. Jones' bronze medal has helped on the journey towards this target but most of all she has inspired her Great Britain team-mates and those of us watching from afar. She deserves her time in the limelight, its just unfortunate that we may not see her at the next Olympic games.

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Winter Sports

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