London 2012

A golden whirlwind

Welsh star is helping to get people involved with her sport

By Emma Bird.   Last Updated: 10/10/12 3:03pm

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Since lighting up the ExCel Arena back in August, golden girl Jade Jones has had to become accustomed to life in the spotlight.

The Welsh teenager, who beat China's Yuzhuo Hou to take the Olympic title, became Britain's first Olympic taekwondo champion in London.

Having competed in the women's under-57kg category, the bubbly athlete was also Team GB's youngest gold medal winner at the 2012 Games.

"It is just mad getting all this attention. "
Jade Jones Quotes of the week

The 19-year-old told Sky Sports: "It's been a bit of a whirlwind since the Olympics, it's gone dead fast! It is just mad getting all this attention and all these different things happening really."

Promotion

With one of the key focuses before, during and after the Games being the sporting legacy, Jones believes that the Olympics have already had a significant effect within her sport.

The young sport star is already enthusiastically involved with encouraging people to take up taekwondo. She added: "I have got my first seminar on Saturday and I am going to be going round everywhere doing classes just to try to get people involved with taekwondo. I have been going around schools too to try and promote the sport.

"Already there have been so many more people getting involved with taekwondo, coming to the classes. Hopefully it will continue and taekwondo will just get bigger.

"I have been surprised by the attention I have received since London, particularly as taekwondo is a low-key sport so it just shows you that the sport is getting better known.

"It is probably much easier to get into taekwondo now than when I started out as more people know of it whereas with me, I just went down to my local club and then found out what it was."

Hunger

So, after four long years of Olympic preparation for London, Jones is now focusing on the next quadrennial Olympic cycle which will lead her to Rio in 2016.

Before that though, are the World Championships next year in Mexico, amongst other competitions along the way.

She said: "I am looking forward to the World Championships next year, and starting proper training again, as it is quite hard to train as you're not as motivated as you used to be.

"However, I am 100 per cent sure that as soon as next year comes, and I have a competition to focus on, I will be back hungry again."

Following on from such an impressive display in front of a home crowd will be difficult; however the Welsh star has such determination and drive that nothing will stop her from achieving her next goal in life.

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