Jenny Jones

Week 21 (8 - 14 February 2014)

One thing you can count on at any Olympic Games is that there will be tears. And tears make compelling television, as we saw this week after the 33-year-old Jenny Jones won Great Britain's first ever Olympic medal on snow by taking bronze in the new Olympic sport of snowboard slopestyle.

Jones was in an emotional enough state as she gave an interview to the BBC following her historic feat, but that was just the start. Jones does not like competing in front of her parents so when her mother and father rushed to congratulate her halfway through the interview, the tears started flowing immediately.

The worldwide appeal of the Olympic Games is based on these types of raw emotions when the justification of hard work and sacrifice, joy, and even surprise, take hold of an athlete all at once.

But the Jones reunion went even further than that and became an endearing family catch-up, just with a BBC microphone wedged in the middle.

Click here to see footage of Jenny Jones's emotional interview  

"You never ever disappointed us," said Jones's mother, before adding, "We are not allowed here really but well done!"

To which her daughter replied: "Let's be quiet."

"We don't do that well do we?" was the response, before apologising to the interviewer for "talking too loud again."

It then looked like a full-blown recount of the emotions of the past three days might take place so Jones thought it wise to ask "if they were on (the BBC) live, now?"

The confirmation that all their family chatter was being broadcast to millions back home brought a swift end to the moment and Jones turned to her interviewer – four-time Olympic gold medallist rower, Matthew Pinsent – to ask playfully: "Are you laughing at my mum and dad?" before adding, "My mum's very northern."

Pinsent's reply: "I just think it's brilliant" would have summed up most people's thoughts.

Pinsent himself knows what it's like to shed a few tears after achieving one's Olympic dream; after winning his fourth consecutive gold medal at Athens 2004 he was unable to sing the national anthem with his team-mates as the waterworks took hold.

His appreciation for how special Jones's own moment was to her and her family and the recognition that he couldn't add anything to what was going on made compulsive sports television and captured the British public's imagination about Sochi 2014 in a way the country had probably thought wasn't possible after London 2012.

But the Games are now firmly in the British consciousness and its partly thanks to Jenny Jones, her mum, her dad and a few tears that the nation followed avidly as Lizzy Yarnold took Great Britain's first gold medal of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games on Friday in the women's skeleton.

Photo: Twitter