British Snowboarder Jenny Jones has won the Gold Medal in the Slopestyle event at the 13th Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, USA. This is not only her first gold in the invitation only event but she is the first British rider ever to win a gold at the event!
Lying in second place, 28-year-old Jones from Britsol clinched a last-gasp victory with a daring manoeuvre, a frontside 720 (double forward rotation) jump covering 80ft through the air late in her run, earning style marks in the 90s from the judges. Her overall score of 90.00 gave her victory by almost three points from Spencer O’Brien of Canada in second on 87.66.
Jones said: “I woke up to see massive snow flakes coming down. Any other day I would be so happy to see this but not today as fresh snow does not equal speed. But as I headed up for practice, it stopped snowing and the fog cleared. I was able to clear the jumps and so it was ‘game on’ for me.
“My first run was sketchy, my second run I cleaned it up, so it looked better and I felt happy with the run but it wasn’t enough, as I was still in second by about three points. So I just had to go for it on the last run with the last jump, an 80ft frontside 720.
“I had not practised it all day and it was kind of hit and hope. I just made it round, landed and rode away with no hands down.
“I was so pleased to win and suddenly the emotions went crazy and I had to try hard not to cry. It means so much to me to win an X Games medal and to win gold is the icing on the cake.”
Britain’s other competitor in the prestigious invitation-only event, Zoe Gillings from the Isle of Man, was eliminated in the semi-final of the Snowboard Cross (Snowboarder X) discipline, and having slightly injured her heel she was unable to take part in the consolation final and finished in 12th place overall.