THE home town of Flintshire’s Olympic heroine is on the up.
That’s the view of the golden girl herself, Jade Jones,who says despite a changing landscape “Flint’s getting bigger and better as a town”.
Things have certainly changed in Flint since 21-year-old Jade won taekwondo gold at London 2012, with her name now adorning the town’s Pavilion sports centre.
Flint’s famous maisonettes are in the process of being demolished, while Jade’s own childhood home was damaged by fire last September.
Windows at the house on Sydney Street were cracked after a ferocious blaze took hold.
The back of the house, where Jade lived for about a decade, was left charred and fencing panels were ruined.
Her mother, Jayne Ferguson, had moved out of the maisonette two days before the blaze and said she was “devastated” by the damage.
Jade said: “It was quite sad because all my childhood was there.”
Flames also destroyed two garden sheds on Mumforth Walk, behind Jade’s former home.
Fire investigators said the blaze had been ignited accidentally by discarded cigarettes.
But Jade, who is now well in to preparations for the Rio Olympics in 2016, said there was little time to dwell on the past.
“All my friends were there but you’ve just got to move forward,” she said.
“I’ve got a new house in Manchester now.”
Jade is currently preparing for a taekwondo grand prix event in China in seven weeks’ time, where she will seek ranking points to ensure she qualifies for Rio, where she is confident of retaining the title she won two years ago.