Jenny Jones secures GB’s first medal

Today we witnessed Jenny Jones make Olympic history by securing Great Britain’s first ever medal on snow, and the first of the Sochi Games.

Jenny Jones receives her bronze at the Sochi medal ceremony

Jenny Jones receives her bronze medal at the Sochi slopestyle ceremony

The 33-year-old from Bristol put down a solid second run in the snowboard slopestyle to achieve third place behind Jamie Anderson of the USA  and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland. With a score of 87.25, Jones sealed the third spot by just 0.25 points over Switzerland’s Sina Candrian in a final that was full of twists, turns and surprises.

Women's snowboard slopestyle podium: Enni Rukajarvi (Silver), Jamie Anderson (Gold) and Jenny Jones (Bronze)

Women’s snowboard slopestyle podium: Enni Rukajarvi (Silver), Jamie Anderson (Gold) and Jenny Jones (Bronze)

And the brilliant commentary from Ed Leigh, Tim Warwood and Aimee Fuller in the BBC commentary box left many of us around the UK in fits of excitement and floods of tears as Jones made Olympic and British history. She told BBC Sport afterwards, “I did the best run I could have done,”. Aimee Fuller unfortunately didn’t make the final after coming 9th in the semi-finals earlier in the day, but she was definitely a crowd-favourite after her front-flip off the last lip. However at only 22-years-old, Fuller is still young and so we’ll surely be seeing much more of her over the next fews years and the next Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Jones technically becomes the first Britain to win an Olympic medal on snow after Alain Baxter had his bronze in the Men’s Slalom taken away from him at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City due to the use of a Vicks’ inhaler that was on the list of banned substances. Much controversy still surrounds this event, and one must still question how the ‘substance’ could have influenced his performance in any way.  The event still strikes a nerve with many of us!

But this is not to take away from any of Jenny Jones’ fantastic success. She has been a role model in British snowboarding  for some time now, and has hopefully inspired a brand new generation of youngsters to pick up a snowboard and give it a go. Congratulations Jenny!

Tune into BBC Two again tomorrow to catch the Women’s Super Combined event from the Rosa Khutor alpine resort. 

Let the Games begin…

Yesterday we witnessed the official opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and despite the controversy surrounding the event, the Russians put on a good show. This show wasn’t however, without its mishaps… There was an Olympic ring that … Continue reading

Introducing Team GB’s Sochi athletes…

With the 22nd Winter Olympics days away from starting, Team GB have published the list of athletes who will be representing Britain in Sochi. The lucky contenders in the skiing and snowboarding stakes shapes up a little something like this… … Continue reading

Money, money, money: The funding woes of British ski racers

We’ve all been there, the sometimes perplexed look you are given after telling someone you’re a ski racer, which is often followed by the question – “What’s ski racing?” There is no denying that alpine ski racing is a minority … Continue reading

Should British ski racers receive funding?

Currently, only eight British winter sport athletes receive money directly from UK Sport, and none of our alpine ski racers are included in this number. The organisation stopped their funding of British racers earlier this year for a number of reasons, and athletes now more than ever have to raise their own funds or secure sponsorship in order to continuing competing at a professional level and representing their country.

Many athletes have been turning to organising their own fundraisers in order to drum up the money needed to help fund their £50,000+ a year programme and help them on their road to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. In October, Chemmy Alcott and Dougie Crawford hosted a Sochi fundraiser in London that included a Question of Sport Live Winter Olympic Special, and later this month Dave Ryding will host his own fundraiser race at Castleford Sno Zone – See the Events page for more details or the event flyer here.

We personally think it is ridiculous that so many talented athletes have to worry about funding their own careers when this time could be spent training. We know money is short, but the point we are trying to make is how can the current and younger skiers coming through the system progress to a professional level if they are not given the funding to do so in the first place because of past results. Vicious circle anyone? We understand that UK Sport has an extremely tough role deciding who receives funding and who doesn’t, so we will be delving further into this topic very soon. But enough about us, we would love to hear what you think about this highly contested issue?

Do you think our British alpine skiers should receive funding? Or do you think it is fair that athletes fund themselves when competing in a minority sport? Or do you have a completely differing view? Please let us know by answering the poll below and feel free to leave any comments in the comment box at the bottom of the page.

Anyone wishing to help out our British racers can do so by donating via the British Ski and Snowboard website. Any donations will go directly to support athletes and their coaches. Team GB currently has eight spots for alpine skiers to go to Sochi, and whilst some have already made the qualifying criteria, others are currently working their way towards this.

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