Flint’s Jade Jones ensured her name would forever be etched into the history books when she won Great Britain’s first ever taekwondo gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Since then she has continued to enjoy success, including adding the -57kg title at the European Games in Baku in 2015 while in 2013 she was awarded an MBE for services to taekwondo.
Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones talks Rio countdown, relaxing in the spa and avoiding conflicts with her housemate and training partner
Find out more about Jade's profile here
When you’re this close to an Olympic Games, Rio is always on your mind day and night.
You are so hungry but you also feel like you have not got enough time if anything, as it will come round so quick.
It’s a totally different feeling to London where it was a home Games but I’m sure this time around will be just as good. I just have to make sure I’m ready.
Last year I was going to each competition and chasing ranking points whereas this year will be different as I have now qualified Team GB a quota place and I can just concentrate on getting ready for Rio.
I did not do as well as I would have liked at the season-ending competition in Mexico in December but that’s in the past now.
I took two weeks off afterwards and just had a nice Christmas and that break just made me more hungry to come back even better.
I did little bits to keep on top of my fitness and then we were back into things on January 4. There was certainly no hiding from the scales on our return!
Final selections for the team still have to be made but it’s a big achievement to have qualified four quota spots with my teammate Mahama Cho getting the final one at the European event earlier this month.
We were all buzzing for him. He was really unlucky during the qualifiers last year with the Olympic rankings. There was a lot of pressure on him this time around but he did great. It gives the whole team confidence.
For now, I’ve just got a big block of training for a couple of months until the Dutch Open in March.
There will be lots of repetition in training and technique work and then as we get nearer we’ll increase the speed work.
It’s great to have the National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester. It has everything you need all in one place.
A few years ago we were in a space at the end of a supermarket in Manchester and we used to joke that we were in aisle 44.
To see how big things have got is a real testament to the work that has gone in behind the scenes.
One of my close friends who trains with me and also lives with me in Manchester is Bianca Walkden.
It’s funny because when you are training, you are doing everything you possibly can to win, so that might mean you end up kicking each other in the head or something.
There might even be some tears and one of us might get emotional but then after that we’ll catch up over a coffee or something and we’ll be fine.
Bianca is very outgoing and always wants to be doing something where as I like my own space and sometimes like to chill out on my own. But we get along really well.
I have Saturday and Sundays off but I’m normally too tired to do much. I like going to the spa to relax though, or go shopping or to the cinema. Bianca and I recently watched the film Creed which was good.
It would be amazing if we could both get a gold medal in Rio. We train together, live together so sharing that experience would be special.
Tune back in next month to find out how what mental preparations Jade goes through before her competitions