Living the dream - Jenni PinchesWhen she was 11 years old Jenni Pinches was filmed for a documentary called 'A Different Life'. One of the first things she said in the documentary was "My ultimate aim is to just be in the Olympics and just compete in the Olympics". Seven years later, Jenni is proof that dreams can come true.
I was really delighted when Jenni was named to the London 2012 Olympic Team as I have loved watching her over the last couple of years. She has been a regular member of Team GB since she turned senior in 2010 and has gone from strength to strength. She is energetic and bubbly and her liveliness always shows through in her performances. She really seems to have gained in confidence this year and has the results to prove it.
Jenni made a fantastic start to her Olympic Games in qualification, working on all four apparatus and posting good scores throughout. The team started on beam where Jenni was up second and started off with a steady score of 13.100. Then it was on to floor where Jenni was first up for the team. Her fantastic floor performance wowed both myself and the home crowd. It was a very expressive routine and her tumbling was fantastic. Her reward was a great score of 14.100, the second highest score for the team. Vault was next and a great DTY for Jenni, again showing us the great form that got her the Silver medal at the 2012 British Championships. She achieved a good 14.366 and then it was on to bars. Not one of Jenni's best pieces, she was up first for the team on bars. A steady 13.700 score and her qualification competition was done. She placed a brilliant 21st all around but due to the two gymnasts per country rule she was not eligible for the all around final as Hannah Whelan and Rebecca Tunney finished above her.
The Team Final was next and again GB were starting on beam. With three gymnasts competing on each apparatus and all three scores counting the pressure was really on. Unfortunately for Jenni the nerves started early on. She had a big wobble near the beginning and then fell off the beam on one of her leaps. The rest of the routine was good but the damage had been done and the score was 11.833. After the competition Jenni was quoted as saying "It was embarrassing and disappointing so I wanted to really prove I could perform for the country and the team, on the floor and on the vault." Floor was next for the team and Jenni was up first. Could she put the disappointment of beam behind her and prove herself on this apparatus? The answer was a very definite 'yes'. She gave an amazing performance, full of energy and expression. The response from the crowd was fantastic and there were times when I was amazed she could still here the music! Her tumbling was practically nailed throughout and she scored a personal best floor score of 14.366 - and the best GB floor score in the team final. Vault was the last piece for Jenni as she was only competing on three of the four apparatus in the team final, and was therefore her last performance of the London 2012 Olympic Games. She vaulted yet another fantastic DTY earning her another personal best score of 14.833 on vault.
What a way to live out your dream and your lifetime's ambition! She gave some fantastic performances and helped the team to record their highest ever team place at the Olympic Games by finishing 6th. She delighted the audience with her energy and bubbly personality and was a sheer delight to watch. She has said that she is not targeting a place in Rio but I for one hope we will be seeing much more of her in the future.
To watch the documentary 'A Different Life' click here.