New documentary reveals how Flint and family gave Jade Jones her grit and gold
No British female has ever won three golds at three consecutive Olympics, but this summer Jade Jones is poised to make history.
She is already Britain’s greatest ever Taekwondo fighter and landed her first gold as a nineteen year old in London’s 2012 games.
Now an exclusive BBC Wales documentary reveals what got her to this historic moment and shines a light on the family and community that made her.
Jade Jones: Fighting for Gold, directed by Stewart Sugg captures Jade at home in Flint with her family and her preparations for Tokyo 2021.
Candid interviews with Jade and her family describe a “rough and tumble” childhood, where Jade was “kind of dragged up almost”.
She was a mischievous, cheeky child who got in with the wrong crowd, and onto the wrong side of the law, until her Grandad stepped in.
Jade says: “ I did start going down the wrong path, hanging out with the wrong people.’
“It was my Grandad that had seen that, and wanted to get me going in the right direction. It was martial arts he wanted to get me into just ’cos he knew it teaches respect, discipline…”
Jade credits the close community in Flint as the place her journey started. It’s also the place where Jade’s father Gary – whom she calls a “Jack the Lad” – collects scrap metal and cockles in the area.
As Jade joins him on his scrap collecting route, just as she used to as a child, he describes how he sees a lot of himself in his daughter: “Jade, when she was a kid, was more of a lad than a girl. I really thought I had a lad. I think we’re the same person to be honest… she’s fiery, I’m fiery…”
Gary Hall, Performance Director, GB Taekwondo says: “She’s ruthlessly competitive . She doesn’t give anything up easily.”
“Yes, she has the same worries that everybody else does.”
“But she knows when she gets into that match scenario or competitive scenario, she doesn’t want to lose. ”
“She’s completely driven and she’s doing everything she can in those six minutes to win the game – and you don’t see that very often.”
Looking ahead to the competition in Tokyo, Jade says: “It’s going to be tough, and that’s why no one’s done three golds back to back… ”
“On my day I believe I can do it. It would just be amazing to get that gold as well – the story literally would have been perfect.”
Jade Jones: Fighting for Gold
BBC One Wales and BBC iPlayer, Tuesday 20 July, 8.30pm Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com