Gymnast Frankie is a real work of art

A SCULPTURE of a county gymnast has been unveiled at Heathrow Airport as part of the build-up to the Olympics.

The casting of rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones is part of a series of Olympic-themed artworks which have gone on show at Terminal Five’s Expo Fine Art Gallery ahead of the London 2012 Games.

The 21-year-old five-time British champion, of Wellingborough, is being tipped as one of the UK’s Olympic medal hopes.

She lives in the county, but competes for Wales due to her father’s roots in Pontypool, Torfaen.

Miss Jones was present for the unveiling of the carbon fibre resin sculpture by artist Eleanor Cardozo.

It includes a plaque stating: “This sculpture is dedicated to Francesca Jones, whose youth and talent embodies the Olympic spirit and the promise of a generation.”

Her dad Colin Jones said: “As her father I was very proud that the sculpture was unveiled, and she was very thrilled.

“She’s working very hard at the moment ahead of the Olympics. She’s flying out to Bulgaria tomorrow for five weeks training.”

The series has previously included a wire mesh sculpture of diver Tom Daley and a work in bronze depicting Paralympic gold medallist Lee Pearson.

Miss Jones, who earned a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games 2010, was joined by the Great Britain Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics Group for the opening of the new collection of art, which is being held to celebrate sports, including gymnastics, at the official Host Airport of the games.

Passengers can buy any of the 50 works of art on show at the exhibition, with proceeds split between the artist and the British Paralympic Charity.

A spokesman for the airport said: “This exciting new exhibition honours the best of Britain’s sportsmen and women as we eagerly countdown to the 2012 London Olympics.

“We are constantly looking at ways to make every journey better at Heathrow and provide passengers with an immediate taste of British sport and culture, and believe that this art exhibition will be as captivating as it is unexpected.”