Hometown: Bunbury and Liverpool
Sport: Artistic gymnastics
Event: Team all around, uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise, vault
Games: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012
Beth Tweddle is a former gymnast and is said to be Britain’s greatest ever female artistic gymnast. She began training at the age of seven and her achievements put her in the category of all time gymnastic greats!
She has competed in the Olympics Games three times: Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. She achieved a bronze medal on the uneven bars in London 2012, which was the first ever medal for British female gymnast at an Olympic Games.
Her talents also led her to becoming the first British female gymnast to win a medal at the European Championships, where she went on to win gold six times, and to becoming a three times world champion. In 2010 she was part of the Queens New Year’s Honours List and received an MBE to acknowledge her gymnastic successes.
She made the decision to retire from gymnastics in 2013 and with the extra free time, which would have usually been taken up by her vigorous training routine, began taking on some media work. Tweddle won Dancing on Ice in 2013 and is now still very much involved in sport. She loves trying new ways of getting active from Zumba and cycling, to skiing and sky diving! She is the director and ambassador of Total Gymnastics which is aimed at encouraging young kids to get involved in sport.
Beth is also an ambassador for Get Set’s Travel to Tokyo pilot programme, launched in the autumn term of 2018. Other ambassadors include Lora Fachie MBE, Jack Hunter-Spivey, and Bianca Walkden. You can find out more about the programme, and join the journey at: www.getset.co.uk/travel-to-tokyo
The following interview took place in October 2014, and the questions were prepared by Highfields School in Matlock.
When did you know you wanted to be a gymnast?
When I was seven years old, but I had tried a lot of different sports first.
Have you thought about coaching your very own gym club?
Not at the moment, but in the future I might be interested.
Do you have any advice for helping young gymnasts?
Make sure you enjoy it and remember anything is possible!
Has a move been named after you?
Yes, it is called the Tweddle and it is on the A-Bars.
What is the scariest discipline?
Beam as it is only 10cm wide!
What is the most serious injury you have had or seen?
I broke my ankle badly in 1998 and had to have it pinned and screwed which lead me being out of competition for a year.
How often did you train or are still training?
I used to train 30 hours a week over six days.
What was your training regime like?
It was intense, but I loved every minute.
What do you do now in your spare time?
Shopping and catching up with friends.
What was different about dancing on ice?
The performance/dance element. I loved it!
What was your Olympic experiences like?
Athens 2004 was amazing, and I came back more inspired than I went. I was disappointed after the Beijing Olympics, but I really like Beijing. London 2012 was AMAZING, and I have memories I will treasure forever.
What is your main goal in life now you want to achieve?
To inspire a future champion!!!
What is your diet like for a gymnast?
A healthy balance for me – brekkie is scrambled/poached egg and beans. Lunch is my main meal and is chicken, rice and veg, lasagne or fajitas. Dinner is soup or a salad.
At what age did you start going to the gym?
At seven years old, having tried lots of other sports first (horse riding, ballet and swimming).