Pride of Downend
Published on: 03 Mar 2014
SHE'S from Bristol, she's from South Glos, but most of all she's from Downend - and she's done us proud.
Snowboarder Jenny Jones's feat in gaining Britain's first Olympic medal on snow brought a ray of sunshine to the wettest winter in 250 years.
And her mum and dad, who live in Bromley Heath, were there to see it. Pete, a retired firefighter, and Helen, a midwife, touched the hearts of all of us locally as well as families across the nation when they were shown on news bulletins surprising Jenny with a hug.
Helen even mentioned Downend on the BBC main bulletin! And when Jenny returned to the West after her Sochi success she had a diplomatic answer to where exactly she was from.
“My mother's womb,” she said.
The local authorities stopped squabbling and got together to organise a celebration parade for Jenny, who took bronze in the slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Games last month.
It will take place on Monday March 3. Starting in South Gloucestershire, where Jenny will be welcomed by council chairman Ian Boulton, it will take in an open-top bus tour of Downend before a triumphant trip into Bristol for a reception at City Hall hosted by the Lord Mayor of Bristol Faruk Chowdhury.
“It is very lovely,” said Jenny. “I am very proud to be from Bristol. I hope people will come out and say hello.”
Cllr Boulton said: "Everyone in Downend is extremely proud to have one of their own to have achieved this. It really is something special."
The event will end a hectic few weeks for the sportswoman, who became an overnight sensation after her victory. She has been interviewed on many TV and radio programmes, including R4 Today, The One Show and BBC Breakfast.
Jenny, 33, was brought up in Bromley Heath, and attended Hambrook Primary School and The Ridings High School. She was good at gymnastics and athletics but did not take up snowboarding until she was in her mid-teens, when she had a trial when she visited a dry ski slope with her brothers Sam and David.
She got a job as a chalet girl so she could pursue the sport and won gold in the X Games in the US in 2009 and 2010 and in Europe in 2011.
Jenny almost missed out on her Olympic chance when she was injured late last year and had to spend a month at the family home in Downend recovering from concussion.
She did not know her parents had flown out to Russia to watch her compete until afterwards.
“I was so happy that they had made the effort to come out and see me,” she said.
Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council would like to send their very warmest congratulations to Jenny Jones for winning her Bronze medal in the Winter Olympics at Sochi. Jenny grew up in Bromley Heath Road and then moved with her parents to the David Wilson Estate in Downend. She was always a very athletic youngster, liking to compete with her two brothers and she excelled at gymnastics and surfing. To get the bronze medal in snowboarding when she did not have the chance to start riding the snow until she was 17 is a tremendous achievement. She has been at the pinnacle of her sport for the last eight years, winning gold at the X Games, but snowboarding only recently became an Olympic sport. We are very happy for her and her family that all her hard work and training have now been recognised.
The Parish Council is looking at ways to commemorate this achievement and to inspire other young people to work hard and follow their sporting dreams as Jenny has done.
Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council tribute
Jenny Jones has not only won an Olympic medal in Sochi, but, (together with her family, who demonstrated such loving support), she has won the hearts of many people in our region. I know that the residents of Downend, South Gloucestershire and the Greater Bristol area are very proud of Jenny and her historic performance at Sochi.
Whilst Team GB have won many medals at Winter Olympics over the years, this is the first British medal for a winter sport on snow. Combined with the story of Jenny’s journey to Sochi, I hope many people, particularly young people, will be inspired by her hard work.
South Gloucestershire and Bristol councils are working with the other authorities in our region to organise a fitting homecoming for Jenny. I hope it will be a memorable event for everyone who wants to celebrate Jenny’s dedication and bravery as we were inspired by her genuinely jaw-dropping performance.
On behalf of South Gloucestershire Council it is a huge privilege and honour to be able congratulate Jenny and to welcome her back home.”
South Gloucestershire Council chairman Ian Boulton