Stand Out Stories: In Conversation With Jade Jones

Stand Out Stories: In Conversation With Jade Jones

Joining us in the hot seat is Jade Jones, no stranger to being in front of the camera, the Olympic taekwondo champion, is used to the spotlight. We are joined by her in partnership with DKNY.

Catch the full conversation on below.

On getting into the sport

I started taekwondo when I was about eight years old. I remember seeing all the flashy kicks and spins and I’ve never looked back since. I was about 14 or 15 when I started to win a few medals and I realised that taekwondo was what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted a chance at an Olympic Gold Medal from that moment.

Taekwondo definitely helped me with everything in my younger life in terms of confidence, self-belief, and just learning that you don’t always win in life. Learning to be determined, learning that if you want something you need to go after it and keep going after it no matter what.

On her first Olympic fight

It’s crazy to think back to being just 19 and knowing nothing other than home games. People would tell me that it was my first Olympics so I should just enjoy the experience, but I was just so focussed, I knew I wanted to win. I think being so young helped; I didn’t realise how big of a deal it was. I just rocked up, fought, and enjoyed it. I didn’t truly realise what was on the line. Obviously, now I’m older I know the pressures that come with the sport. I know what’s at stake.

On instinct vs tactics

You’ve got to find the perfect balance between going off your instinct – reacting to anything that comes – and mastering the tactics – knowing not to go with a certain shot because that might leave you open. It’s a very fine balance.

On the high-risk-high-reward mindset

I’d say that’s definitely the way I approach life; the bigger the reward, the more risk I take. A lot of people, when they know there’s a lot on the line, are more likely to go into their shells. That’s especially the case in taekwondo; people never want to give too much away. But when everything’s on the line that’s exactly when I risk everything. It’s paid off so far!

On the Olympics journey

Every Olympics has its own challenges, mental or otherwise. My first at 19 saw me with everything to gain. My second Olympics dialled the pressure up a notch. I hadn’t lost in over a year, so that failure would have hit all the harder if I fell short. This time around it still feels like uncharted territory. No one has ever won a third Olympic gold in taekwondo. That’s really exciting, but it comes with a lot of pressure too. It’s exactly because I know I can do it that I’d be so devastated if I fell short.

On staying motivated

The GB girls are really good so motivation is never far away. There’s always someone in the gym waiting to beat me up and take my spot if I get lazy. That leaves me with no room to get complacent. Always switching up my goals is a good way to stay on my game, too. If I was just happy with being an Olympic champion then it would be easy to take my foot off the gas, but I’m always looking for the next challenge.

On rest and recuperation

I know my own body; I know when it’s tired and when it’s had enough. I know when to push and when to go hard – and I know when to give myself that mental and physical break.

On the upcoming Olympics 

It’s been such a different journey to this Olympics – it’s all been about finding different ways to still be the best. But I’m only going there with the gold in my sights. To have the chance to do something that no one has ever done in my sport – win that third gold medal – makes me want to go for it even more. It just gives me more motivation to see if I can be the chosen one.

On martial arts movies

I love martial arts films – I’ve wanted to star in one since I was a kid. Sometimes I’ll watch them and I’ll be thinking ‘I could take them; I could take those kicks’. So it’d be amazing to give it a go for real.

 

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