2:26pm Wednesday 30th April 2014
By Alexandra Womack
OLYMPIC bronze medallist Jenny Jones returned to her former secondary school this week to meet current pupils and her PE teacher.
Sochi snowboarder Jenny, who became the first Briton to ever win an Olympic medal on snow when she took bronze in the slope style category in February, was quizzed by gifted and talented pupils at Winterbourne International Academy.
Jenny, bearing her right arm in a sling after a recent shoulder operation, told the Gazette: “I’ve been really looking forward to coming here and seeing how things have changed.
“A lot of the facilities have gone up a notch with an astro turf and new sports hall. It has been really cool reminiscing about what I used to get up to and who I might recognise.”
The 33-year-old from Downend then told pupils how she had only started snowboarding aged 17, how she comes up with new tricks and her training regime.
Jenny, who appeared on Andrew Flintoff’s team on A Question of Sport last night, said unsurprisingly that her favourite subject at school had been PE and on her visit today (April 30) she met her former PE teacher Trish Lewis.
“We have a lot of students do well and I try to keep up with all of them but when they do as well as Jenny it is really nice,” said Mrs Lewis, who been teaching at the school since 1992.
“I thought she would do well at something but didn’t know it would be snowboarding. She played everything back then, football, hockey and did gymnastics.”
Simeon Minev, 15, said: “It was really interesting. I have never tried snowboarding before but maybe I will.”
Patrick Goddard, 14, presented Jenny with a bouquet of flowers after inviting the sports star to the school via Facebook.
“She replied to me and said she would come,” he said. “Today was really good. I snowboard myself and want to go on and do well at it.”
Before the operation, Jenny has been back competing and came third in a recent contest in Italy.
“I decided to come back and got my shoulder sorted out,” she said. “I have one week left in a sling and then can start rehab properly. My next competitions will be in August and September in Australia and New Zealand.”
Academy chief executive principal Rob Gibson said: “Jenny’s achievements in snowboarding have not only enthused our students following her outstanding contribution to British Olympic sport, but also inspired our academy community.
“We are all very proud of Jenny and it was a great delight to see her engage with all our pupils and staff.”
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