FLINTSHIRE taekwondo star Jade Jones has looked back at her meteoric rise in the sport on the ten-year anniversary of her first Olympic gold medal win.

The 29-year-old claimed her first Olympic victory at London in 2012 - a decade ago today (Tuesday) - to the delight of Flintshire residents, and her supporters the world over.

We caught up with Jade to find out how she remembers that day, how her career has flourished since and what is next for her.

She told the Leader: "It really doesn't feel like it was ten years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.

"Still to this day, it's my favourite moment ever and it will be hard to beat.

"It's mad that I did it when I was so young, and with it being a home games the build up was ridiculous; the Olympics was on everyone's mind."

Speaking of the moment she won the first gold medal, she added: "It was just surreal.

The Leader: Jade returns home after the Tokyo OlympicsJade returns home after the Tokyo Olympics

"I remember everyone screaming and banging their feet."

Jade described the weeks and months which followed her first Olympic win.

"I think no one can really prepare you for it," she said.

"I remember everyone wanting me to come to them to say hello, but all I wanted to do was chill with my family - I was quite shy.

"It took a while to get used to things like that, like being invited to be on TV.

READ MORE: What 2022 has in store for taekwondo star Jade Jones

"There's no guidebook. You just have to learn on the road."

Jade said her motivation to keep training and fighting comes from a desire to continue proving to herself that she's "still hungry" to win.

Reflecting on her second Olympic gold in 2016, she continued: "Rio was totally different.

"The pressure was on. I didn't want to just be a flash in the pan, or someone who fluked the win in London.

"It was more of a relief than joy when I won in Rio. I knew I was the best one going into it, but I just had to do it on that day."

The Leader: Jade JonesJade Jones

On the Toyko 2020 Olympic games, Jade said: "Looking back, I was never in a good place for that one.

"I think like everyone else, the pandemic did affect me - I found the whole thing hard.

"I put too much on it as well.

"Instead of being there, I got wrapped up in the whole 'I could be a three time winner' history side of it.

"I wasn't hungry to win, I was scared to lose. But I've learned from that now."

Jade said her defeat in Tokyo made her appreciate her wins even more, and has made her a stronger fighter.

She is now working towards qualifying for the next Olympic games, which will take place in Paris in 2024.

"It's non-stop," she said.

"We have the World Championships at the end of this year, which will be in Mexico.

"I've just been on a training camp in Korea for three weeks and I am going to a training camp in Croatia - then two weeks after that there's another grand prix competition in Paris.

The Leader: Jade with supporters Jade with supporters

"It's all super important points to qualify for Paris 2024 - I have to make sure I am winning medals consistently."

Gary Jones, Jade's dad, told the Leader: "What she has done is amazing, and she's still competing now - she's still sharp.

"She's really got her sights set on Paris and she's very determined.

"I am 100 per cent proud of her and what she has done; she has sacrificed a lot of her youth for training and different things."

Jade said: "I started this when I was eight years old in Flint Pavilion, and I never imagined I'd come this far.

"I fell in love with the sport straight away and I am so lucky my Nan and Grandad took me all over the country and the world to get to competitions.

"I think as I get older now, I realise the sacrifice I've made. And I have loved every minute of it.

"I love to train, I still love to fight.

"It changes lives. Growing up on a council estate in Flint, I grew up with nothing, but this has made my life.

"I believe I can be the best."

READ MORE: Jade Jones story will continue, vows Flintshire Olympian after Tokyo defeat

And now Jade has set her sights on helping the next generation of young taekwondo stars in and around Flint.

"My dream is to have my own school teaching taekwondo with a weights gym," she explained.

"I'd love to even have my own athletes and create the next generation - I will always have that fight and I have to try to pass it on to others."

Speaking of the support she has received from the community, Jade said: "I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years - it really has meant so much.

"When I lost in Tokyo, everyone had my back and it shows people are not just there for the medals.

"It really helped me get over the loss and carry on."