To celebrate her achievement in Sochi, the Bristol City Council took Jenny Jones on an hour-long open bus tour, police escort and all, ending at the city hall where she was greeted by hundreds of cheering fans waving banners and Union Jack flags.
It was awesome to see that the post-Sochi hype shows no sign letting up and also just how much Jenny’s bronze means to the Bristol public. We cornered the Mayor, George Ferguson, who said: “In a city that has not had enough to celebrate on the sporting front in recent years Jenny’s achievement is so heartening and she becomes a brilliant role model for young people in so many ways – not least because she is clearly such a decent human being. It is always good for the mood of a place to be able to celebrate success.”
As the bus pulled up and Jenny stepped off, fully kitted out in Team GB outerwear and her medal, she was instantly surrounded and mobbed by supporters and press. Escorted by local bigwigs she made her way through the crowd, signing autographs and smiling for photos.
Despite the melée, we managed to sneak through to the front and ask Jenny how she was enjoying her homecoming and attention.
As the bus pulled up and Jenny stepped off, fully kitted out in Team GB outerwear and her medal, she was instantly surrounded and mobbed by supporters and press.
“It feels great!” Jenny said, adding (for the record) “hopefully I’ll get my Whitelines front cover soon!”
The coolest thing about the crowd was that it was far from just snowboarders who came to celebrate; even those who knew nothing about the sport turned up to show their support after they became hooked by the slopestyle competition on TV.
“She won the bronze and that’s unique, especially for Bristol and the South West,” said Lisa Kunc, 26 from Bridgewater. “I work nights and came home at 6 in the morning and it was on TV, when she got the bronze I cried. I don’t watch snowboarding but since then everything has changed, I love it.”
We also saw further signs that Jenny’s success is already encouraging kids to take up snowboarding. If today is anything to by then it looks like the sport’s future is in safe hands as almost half of the crowd were excited children desperate to catch a glimpse of their new hero.
13-year-old Jess Craze from Bristol was one of the many flag-waving youngsters. “I’m here today because I’m sports mad and when I saw Jenny on the TV she was amazing and she did Britain proud.”
Well said Jess, well said.