Jenny Jones & why the Winter Olympics makes us cry in a way the X Games could never do


The morning after Jenny Jones’s awesome first ever Team GB snow medal was a surreal one. My twitter timeline was still full of frothing of course, but it was the train carriage that was really blowing my mind. About me was a sea of Jenny-on-the-front-page-of-every-paper-faces with even smartly dressed people (in suits!) reading about and getting to know a girl who’s been a hero for every British snowboarder for the best part of a decade.

And it still feels awesome. There’s none of this we knew her first but hate that she’s now bestriding the public consciousness kind of nonsense. This is in part to do with how sound and popular Jenny Jones is and how stoked snowboard folk are about her success, tied into the hope that she can finally earn some decent money on the back of her bronze, especially given some of her more foolish ex-sponsors who stopped backing her last year.

But I also think for the majority of people, including snowboarders even though they might like to debate otherwise, the Olympics is just too awesome and emotionally significant to ignore. Sure it should happen on our terms and not be under the control of FIS and yep we’d rather it wasn’t in Russia given their totally outdated not to mention wrong stance on gay rights but when one of our own, with a backstory to inspire a Hollywood movie (and it actually did, Chalet Girl, which was apparently the most streamed movie on Netflix yesterday!), gets a medal, it would take a rare kind of stone-hearted freak not to turn to mush.

And mush we did turn to. Witness the tears, not just from Jenny Jones herself or in the BBC commentary box from Aimee Fuller, Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood (amazing as that was) or even from us on the live feed, but from everyone we spoke to, both IRL and far and wide on social media. From fans of snowboarding to 42 year old ex-commandos with no previous interest in the sport. Search #jennyjones #tears if you don’t believe us.

Why did Jenny Jones’s bronze medal mean so much and why does the Olympics make us cry like crazies? When Jenny won the first of her X Games golds, I jumped up and down as I did yesterday but I didn’t come close to tears. Ok the X Games happens every year, not one in four, and it’s not a Team GB thing but then is this just nationalism? I don’t feel very nationalistic usually though.

Or is it the BBC, the music, the hook of the montage. The magic of a shared TV Olympic-watching experience, something we’ve been doing every two years since we were kids (or every four years for older readers as pre-1992 the winter and summer games were held in the same year). And instead of getting less powerful group TV-watching is surely amplified when watched in tandem with social media on second screens, as big events like Jenny’s slopestyle final so often are.

Sure the buzz will fade and snowboarding will sidle off the front pages until the next Winter Olympics-jamboree hits, but the tears? They’ll be back whenever you watch the footage of Jenny Jones’s historic medal-winning run. You can be sure of that.

But enough of our bumbling, why do you think so many of us were tearful wrecks last Sunday? Tell us below the line or on our facebook

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