WHALEY Bridge Olympian Jennifer Pinches has announced her retirement from gymnastics.
It comes weeks after the 18-year-old represented Great Britain at this summer’s Olympic Games.
Her lifetime-best performances on the floor and vault helped Team GB women’s artistic gymnastics squad to sixth place in London - the team’s best post-war performance at the Games.
“I finished on a real high,” said Jenni. “I have achieved everything I wanted to achieve and now at 18 it is time to take advantage of other opportunities that may come my way.”
During the Olympics Jenni not only won plaudits for her excellence on the floor, but for her presentation skills, sharing the microphone with Olympic legend Olga Korbut and BBC presenter Matt Baker for a commentary session.
But working with the little sparrow from Minsk was just one of the highlights in what Jenni describes as a ‘surreal experience’.
“The Olympic village was a wonderful place with all the world’s best athletes and coaches together,” Jenni explained.
“I met Chris Hoy, Tom Daley and Zara Phillips were staying in the rooms next door to us. I met Will, Harry and Kate Middleton three times.
“I met Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones, and after the 200 metre final we had a chat with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake as they came back into the village.”
The proud Olympian added: “But it wasn’t just the fun of being with fellow athletes, it was the incredible response from the public. Everywhere we went, people just wanted to talk to us and congratulate us.”
Following Monday’s Olympic Parade, Jenni will be jetting off to Ecuador for two months to work on developing world projects, before returning to King’s School in Macclesfield to study A Level Psychology and English Language.