Bristol snowboarder Jenny Jones has won Britain’s first medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics, taking a bronze in the slopestyle event.
The 33-year-old, born in Downend, had to endure a nailbiting finish as the competition completed their final runs – but she held on to a podium place.
Fifth after her first run, Jones – who learned on a dry slope in Churchill, Somerset – had an error-free second run that put her in gold medal position.
However, she was knocked down the leaderboard by American Jamie Anderson, and silver medallist Enni Rukajarvi from Finland.
“I can’t believe it,” she told the BBC. “I did the best run I could have done for sure.”
In a more apt description of her feelings she wrote on her blog, alongside a screenshot of her on the podium receiving her medal: “Aaahhhhhh!! Did I just get bronze at the friggin Olympics!! #ridiculous #welldonejamieandenni.”
Following her victory, Bristol mayor George Ferguson has called on firms in the city to sponsor a spectacular welcome home for the Olympic medallist.
He told ITV News yesterday: “We have got to do something really good to celebrate this. What I’m going to do is see if we can find someone who can sponsor something snowy and spectacular in Bristol. It will be better than doing an open bus tour, although I’m sure we can do that.”
Jones had a tearful meeting with her parents after winning the medal – they had flown in to Russia to surprise her.
Considered a snowboard veteran, the medal is the crowning glory for Jones in a career that also includes three X Games Gold medals, the first UK athlete to win an X Games gold medal.