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Jones blown away by Sochi bronze

Jenny Jones is struggling to comprehend her historic achievement of claiming bronze in the snowboard slopestyle in Sochi.

At 33, Jones was the oldest entrant in the final of the competition by more than six years, yet she showed all the experience she has gathered over the years with a phenomenal last run that earned her a podium spot.

She topped the leaderboard after an excellent - but, more importantly, clean - run earned her a score of 87.25 and although she was overhauled by first Finland's Enni Rukajarvi (92.50), who took silver, and then American gold medallist Jamie Anderson (95.25), the Briton is absolutely delighted.

"I feel absolutely ecstatic, I'm so chuffed to have made it on to that podium," she said.

"It feels ridiculous, I still can't actually believe it.

"I just thought 'Oh my goodness, it's gone my way today', and I couldn't be more grateful."

She later summed up her feelings, adding on Twitter: "Aaahhhhhh !! Did I just get bronze at the friggin Olympics!! #ridiculous"

Her success is made all the more remarkable by the fact she was out of action for nearly a month after suffering a concussion in mid-December following a crash in training in Austria.

"(It) was a bit of a tough time for me," she said.

"I had to stay at home and not being on the snow, if you ask any athlete it's just tough sitting and waiting.

"But I got through it and am genuinely very proud."

It is this determination that has marked her out since she first burst onto the scene as a teenager in 1999 by winning her first British Snowboarding Championship.

Three gold medals at the prestigious Winter X Games are her crowning achievements, but she had to fund herself at the start of her career, which involved taking a variety of odd jobs, including working as a chalet maid, and in a cardboard factory and a doughnut shop.

"At the beginning I worked as a chalet maid, did seasons, worked back home, things like that," she said.

"Gradually I've gained a lot of support from sponsorship, which I'm so grateful for."

Due to her age, many felt Jones' best hope of making an impact in the first ever Olympic snowboard slopestyle event had gone, and she did feel that she had missed her moment.

"I can't believe it's here for me to do," she said.

"There was a slim chance it was even coming in, so I might never have got the chance to do this.

"(But) for me it was always the X Games, that was my goal and it always was when I was younger."

Britain have won 22 medals on ice in the Winter Olympics but none have come at a snow event, with Alain Baxter's bronze in the men's slalom at Salt Lake City in 2002 stripped from him for an alleged doping offence.

Jones' medal hopes appeared slim after she failed to qualify automatically for the final on Thursday although she earned her route to the showpiece event with a third-place finish in the semi-final on Sunday morning.

A score of 73.00 left her in the top five after the first run in the final and she was then markedly improved on her second attempt.

She was second out of the blocks in the 12-person final and faced an agonising wait to discover where she would finish, but her result was confirmed when Austrian Anna Gasser stumbled over.

"There were so many more girls, so I absolutely knew I would drop down, but it was just a question of how much," she said.

"When the last girl went, I just went 'Oh my God, oh my God, I am on the podium'."

Jones' fellow Briton Aimee Fuller could not progress from the semi-final after twice failing to land a double backflip properly.

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland admitted she was determined not to hold back and has no regrets.

"I laid all my cards down on the table, went for it, didn't quite work out today but I thought I might as well go big or go home," she said.

"After all it's the Olympics, the biggest contest on earth, so I'm pleased I went for it really.

"I'm going to walk away happy and have enjoyed my Olympic experience so far."