Wed, 12 Feb 2014 By Sally Ann Voak
GSG Exclusive from Sally Ann Voak – Winning her medal at Sochi couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more dedicated athlete than Jenny Jones, who overcame great adversity and injury to even make the starting gates.
Despite a month off over Christmas with concussion, two metal plates in her left arm, and various leg injuries, she soared to the occasion yesterday to win Britain’s first-ever snow sports Olympic medal.
The Bristol bombshell described her tough training schedule to me: “I train at Keystone, Colorado. “ “ It is full-on: as well as daily skills training on the snow, I cover a broad spectrum of disciplines including
- Cardio fitness
- strength sessions twice a week
- agility work and movement
- core strength and a daily stretching routine based on “tough” yoga.
- Swim and work out in the gym when not competing.
Jenny maintains her 61kg body weight by eating plenty of protein – chicken and fish – and loads of vegetables.
“We don’t carb-load any more before competing – I just eat a light breakfast at least three hours beforehand, but I do drink loads of water right up to the start.”
Unlike many athletes, Jenny, 33, doesn’t believe in carrying a lucky charm.
“I met Matthew Pinsent on a sports panel and he told me that he and Steve Redgrave keep away from any type of superstition – so they know they must always rely on their own fitness and training. I follow their example.”
Jenny uses visualisation techniques to ensure that those incredibly tricky moves really do work! “If I am thinking of a new trick, I research it on the internet.
“I then go through it off the slopes, in my head, trying to imagine how it would feel in action. I also visualise myself doing the trick and the whole routine, before competing. I did that yesterday morning, as part of my pre-competition preparation.”
Her hardest trick is the “Frontside 900.” She tried to teach me how to do it, albeit not on the slopes. “Just place your right foot forward, left back. You are going to spin frontside, that is clockwise, all the way round, once, twice, and then another half. You are going to land with your front foot forward… oh yes, and you have to clear with a trajectory of 80ft. “ Needless to say, I fell over!
No wonder she is agile. Jenny was a gymnast from the age of 4 to 14 and her talents were discovered on a dry ski slope in Churchill, Somerset, when she was almost 17. After getting the boarding bug, she took jobs in factories and as a chalet girl to help fund her dream.
The dream’s come true, Very well done from all your Good Ski Guide fans!
Lizzy gets Gold
Lizzy Yarnold’s Gold medal win in the Skeleton event at Sochi attracted the highest audience numbers of the BBC’s Winter Olympics TV coverage, with 5.2m tuning in to watch Lizzy’s victory on BBC One. The highest peak of the event previously was 4m for the the Men’s Ski Jumping Final.
To date more than 27million viewers have tuned in to the Games.