She had no interest in snowboarding until she stepped on a Bristol dry ski slope at the age of 16. However, Jenny Jones will be definitely mentioned in the record books as the first British athlete to win a medal in winter sports on Olympic Games.
Having crept into the final, the oldest competitor in the sport of slopestyle snowboarding maneged to score 87.25 on her second run in the final that brought her bronze.
Even for those who have no idea what a “540 cab” or a “360 grab” mean, the scale of the achievement was absolutely clear.
An “absolutely ecstatic” snowboarder got into the list of 23 British athletes who won a Winter Games medal and all of the previous 22 had been on ice rather than the slopes.
“All that waiting. I was only the second person to drop and there were so many more girls to come,” she said after her bronze was confirmed. “When the last girl went and I realised she had messed the rail a bit, it was just like ‘Oh my goodness. I am on the podium’.”
The star of the year for the whole Britain later revealed that she had never allowed her parents come to her competitions as it made her too nervous.
But Peter and Helen Jones were not going to miss the chance to see their daughter on the Olympic Games – Britain’s first ever on snow – so they flew to Russia to surprise her.
The 33-year-old immeadiately burst into tears when she saw her mom and dad at the finish point moments after realising she had taken the first medal in winter sports for her native country.
After their emotional embrace Mrs Jones said: “It’s absolutely unbelievable, she has never disappointed us. We have always been proud of her but, blimey, this is the icing on the cake.”
Jenny’s father added: “I need a whisky – I think we both need a drink and a long sleep. It’s been great coming out here.”
Meanwhile, the newly champion shared her emotions with reporters: “A few said, “Is she past it?” but … I did the best run I could have done … you sense the world is watching and you had to control that part of things and not let it get to you too much.”
“I feel very proud to have won a bronze medal for my country. I can’t believe it’s our first on snow. It is still sinking in, the history part … I absolutely had no idea of this when I was a chalet maid cooking breakfast and cleaning toilets … it was just about snowboarding.”
Jamie Anderson from the U.S. appeared to be lucky and talented enough to takehome gold with 95.25, eclipsing Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi who scored 92.50. The three winners shouted their delight and hugged as the final competitor failed to match their scores.
Jenny Jones said: “It was so difficult waiting. I thought I did my best run and landed it as best as I could, thankfully it was enough. That was a long waiting game.”