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Let's hear it for Jenny Jones


Women's snowboard slopestyle champion Jenny Jones lit up social media this weekend and even made a BBC commentator cry after making history with her bronze medal win at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Jones, 33, scored a place in history books as she became the first British athlete to win a medal on snow since the Winter Olympics began in 1924.

Slopestyle snowboarding made its debut as a sport in the Olympics this year and Jones scored 87.25 points in her second and final run, which featured a series of incredible moves from boardsliding a rail to a backside 360 spin off a 20ft jump. Jones - who claimed top position in the leaderboard - then had an anxious wait as her 10 rivals went onto compete, with American Jamie Anderson eventually claiming the gold medal and Finland's Enni Rukajarvi landing silver.

"I'm just so happy right now. I feel so proud to get on the podium," said Jones, who is just the 23rd British athlete to win a Winter Games medal and the eldest to compete in the snowboard slopestyle competition by six years.

"A few said, 'Is she past it?' but I did what I could and, thankfully, it got me on there."

Jones grew up in Bristol and only started snowboarding aged 16 on a dry slope. As her passion for the sport developed, she worked as a chalet maid to help fund trips and competitions around the world.

"I absolutely did not think I would ever be in this position back then, when I was a chalet maid," she said, after winning bronze on Sunday. "I was cooking breakfasts, cleaning toilets. I was having a great time, I was snowboarding every day and that was amazing. It's still sinking in, the history part. Hopefully I'll be in a few pub quizzes now."

Jenny (right) with her fellow women's snowboard slopestyle champions, silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland and gold medalist Jamie Anderson

Aimee Fuller, Jones's teammate, helped commentate her friend's run from the BBC box and was moved to tears by her triumph.

"She's been a big role model of mine and one of my best mates, so to see what she's done today for British snowboarding is insane," she said afterwards. "I'm overwhelmed by everything and I could not be happier for her."

Jones was surprised by her parents at the finishing line.

"It's absolutely unbelievable, she has never disappointed us," said mum Helen Jones. "We have always been proud of her but, blimey, this is the icing on the cake."

Congratulations quickly flooded in from fellow athletes. "Amazing @jennyjonessnow I was gripped!!" tweeted gold medalist Jess Ennis-Hill. Andy Murray tweeted, "Jenny Jones! Is it wrong to hope everyone left falls?", then adding: "Yesssssssssssssssss!"

Jones celebrated with a glass of champagne saying, "I'd not had any alcohol for six months in preparation for the Olympics. This tastes good."

"I'll look back and know that I went the direction I believed in," she told a documentary in 2010. "I didn't wuss out. How many people get a chance to do this?"

"I love surfing, love going out for a dance, love G&Ts," she added. "Pretty much your average person, really."

Remind yourself of Jones' historic Olympics triumph with a look at this video recap:

Photos: Getty Images/Rex Features



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