Gymnast Jenni Pinches, Whaley Bridge’s own Olympic star, came home from the most exciting time of her life at London 2012 to find a banner on ‘the bridge in Whaley Bridge’, put up by the council. Anne Winter, chair of Whaley Bridge Town Council, congratulated Jenni, 18, on her Olympic success.
As part of Team GB’s women gymnastic squad, Jenni helped them finish sixth in the team contest. She was thrilled by the three medals won by the men’s team, and the individual bronze won by her friend and training partner Beth Tweddle in the uneven bars competition.
After meeting dozens of fellow athletes in the Olympic village and sharing their ups and downs, Jenni had to start getting used to being recognised. In London she was stopped in the street by gymnastic fans. During a photocall by the banner in Whaley Bridge, with her dad Ian and Anne Winter, she was stopped by a mum wanting a photo of her son with Jenni. He seemed as impressed by Jenni’s Olympic five rings painted on her nails as anything else.
Anne, who is also chairman of the governors at Whaley Bridge Primary School, said she hoped Jenni could visit the young pupils to whom she is now a role
After a few days at home, catching up with her boy friend, Jenni is off on a family holiday to Tenerife. Then it’s back to A level studies at King’s School, Macclesfield, which were put off for her year of preparations for the Olympics, followed by a two month stint of volunteer work in Ecuador.
Whaley Bridge says: Welcome home and well done, Jenni – a modest and smiling ambassador for her home town.