Golden girl Jade Jones is determined not to be a “one-hit wonder” after realising her dream of becoming Britain’s first Olympic taekwondo champion. Five days after the 19-year-old won a taekwondo gold, she arrived at her mother’s house on Tuesday.
It is understood she wants to relax this week, ahead of a home-coming party and civic reception in Flint next week, as well as an open-top bus tour around the town. Hundreds of people attended a party in July at Flint’s Sports and Social Club to wish her well before she left for London 2012.
Flint mayor, Vicky Perfect, said: “Jade‘s fantastic achievements have really put Flint on the map. “A civic reception and an open top bus tour are the least we can do for her. “She’s an amazing girl and we’re very humbled and proud by what she’s done. “It’s given the whole town a real feelgood factor.”
The Welsh teenager avenged last year’s World Championship final defeat by China’s Hou Yuzhuo to win the 57kgs category at London 2012.
“I’m going to have some time out and get mentally hungry again,” said the Flint star. “Then I’ve got the World Championships next May, so I’ll see where that takes me. “I don’t want to be one of those one-hit wonders, I want to be performing at that level all the time and I know how hard it is in my category.
“My coach says the amazing thing about me is I’m doing so well but I’ve still got so far to go. “I still make loads of mistakes and I’m only 19. I can get so much stronger as well, my muscles aren’t fully developed yet.”
Jones’ triumph touched the hearts of the nation – she actually broke International Olympic Committee protocol by carrying the Welsh flag (a non-competing country) around the ExCeL Arena moments after winning the gold medal.
And Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes hailed Jones’ victory as one of her personal highlights of London 2012.
“I know she will receive a huge reception when she gets back home and she should enjoy every minute,” said double gold medallist Holmes. “Winning gold at a home Olympic Games is an amazing feat and I’m sure everyone in Wales will share in the joy of her success.
“I’m so proud of Jade and what she has achieved to become our first Olympic taekwondo champion. “The scenes we witnessed in the ExCeL Arena were absolutely incredible.”
Jones has admitted Holmes was her childhood heroine after watching the middle-distance runner complete the 800m and 1500m double in Athens in 2004. Holmes has since acted as a mentor for the martial arts ace and once even sparred with her. “I have closely followed Jade’s progress for a couple of years now, since she competed at the European Youth Olympics,” said Holmes.
“I have always seen amazing potential in Jade, she is a lovely girl and very talented soaking up all the advice and information she has been given from the team around her.”