On this day in 2014: Jenny Jones wins GB’s first Winter Olympic medal on snow

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Jenny Jones defied the odds to write her name in British sporting history in Sochi.

At 33, she embarked upon the final of the first snowboard slopestyle event since its inclusion in the Winter Olympics as the oldest competitor by more than six years having failed to qualify automatically and then negotiated a semi-final in which she finished third.

However, she had previously fought her way through even more demanding circumstances, funding her early years in the sport working as a chalet maid and in a cardboard factory and a doughnut shop.

Indeed, her hopes of success in Russia had been left hanging by a thread after she spent a month out of action following a training crash in Austria just weeks earlier which left her with concussion.

Jones, who won her first British title as a teenager and claimed three gold medals at the prestigious Winter X Games, lay fifth after a first run score of 73.00, but topped the leaderboard with 87.25 after her second.

The second of the 12 finalists to drop in, she then had to wait anxiously as the rest of the field attempted to overhaul her.

Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi and American Jamie Anderson did so to claim silver and gold respectively, but when the final run had been completed, the bronze was hers.

Jones said: “There were so many more girls, so I absolutely knew I would drop down, but it was just a question of how much.

“When the last girl went, I just went ‘Oh my God, oh my God, I am on the podium’.”

Jones’ medal was the first won by a British athlete on snow as opposed to ice – where they had claimed 22 at the time – after Alain Baxter’s bronze in the men’s slalom at Salt Lake City in 2002 had been stripped for an alleged doping offence.