My Olympics: Jade Jones's mum on seeing her strike gold
- 15 August 2012
- From the section Wales
In the third of our My Olympics series, Jade Jones's mother, Jayne Ferguson, describes how she and other relatives watched her daughter clinch a stunning victory to win a taekwondo gold at London 2012.
"We bought the tickets a while ago - before we knew she was in it - and we went down on the Wednesday, the day before.
It was amazing. We went to Team GB House when we got there. It was really exciting just being there.
We were allowed to go and see Jade for an hour. We were nervous and we expected her to be nervous. But she was laughing and joking.
When we left, she just said, 'right,' then she gave me a kiss and a look, as if to say 'I mean business'.
I was crying. I'd been crying for weeks up until that point because I know how much she wants it and how hard she's worked. It was just out of my control. I just wanted it for her.
I didn't sleep much that night, I was tossing and turning. We got up at 5 o'clock the next day because we had to get the train in to the ExCel Centre.
We got there for about 07:30 because we didn't know what the queues were going to be like. We just felt sick with nerves, wondering what the day was going to bring.
Her first fight was 10:30. I couldn't really concentrate until then.
The centre was massive. All the seats quickly filled up. It was dark and there was just the light on the ring. You could feel all the excitement round the arena. Everyone was clapping and stamping their feet. As soon as Jade's name was mentioned the place was up. It was lovely.
There was uproar when she came out. It was deafening. Everyone was screaming, shouting, clapping, waving their banners.
We were in the centre, eight rows up, so very close. We were in different seats for every fight but they were quite good seats.
When she came out she was so so focussed. She didn't look at anyone, just stared straight ahead. You could see it in her eyes.
I was a nervous wreck, shaking and sweating and willing her to do well. She went through 15-1. We couldn't believe it. We were on a high then, and then realised we had to do it all again.
We just went and had a drink. We were just waiting. We knew what she could do. We just hoped nerves didn't overtake her. But as soon as we saw the first fight we knew she was on her game. We were just willing her to get through each fight. She wasn't showing any emotion until she got into the final.
'Tears of happiness'
She had lost to Yuzhuo Hou in the world championships by one point, and Jade was gutted for ages. Then she fought her again and beat her, so we knew she could win. We knew she wouldn't let her take this one away from her.
I was petrified. It was surreal.
I was watching the clock going down, thinking 'please, please please'. Then the bell went and my legs nearly went from beneath me. I was just so happy for her, she'd dreamt of that for ages. My little girl's dream had come true. I was crying my heart out - tears of happiness.
Somebody actually turned round and took a photo of me and said 'I don't think I've ever seen anybody so happy.'
I've watched it about a million times. I've got the whole day on tape.
I've always been so proud of her. She's just amazing - not just at taekwondo, she's an amazing girl as well, so lovely. I said to her the day before the fight, 'I can't get any prouder of you than I am already'.
'Such a high'
We had to wait for a bit. They did let us go in and see her, so I just gave her the biggest hug ever. She had to go off then for drugs tests, so we couldn't see her until the next day properly. She was beaming. We didn't get that much sleep that night either. We were on such a high.
The next day she had to do all the media stuff. It was about 12 o'clock when we got to see her. We had an hour with her, then she had to go off and do more media stuff.
Jade says she hasn't had a minute to herself. It will be lovely to have her home, just for her to chill and relax, because she's worked so hard.
The kids in Flint can look up to her and think that if they do set their minds to something and work really hard then dreams can come true.
On Thursday, Monmouth MP David Davies describes how his experience as a special constable with British Transport Police during the Olympics left him "absolutely buzzing".