Beth Tweddle: Gymnastics – Artistic

Beth Tweddle is considered to be Britain’s greatest gymnast. The three-time World Champion has six European Championship titles, plus seven consecutive National championships titles (2001-2007). The Cheshire-bred athlete made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, finishing tenth. During the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, Tweddle placed fourth overall, just missing a bronze medal by 0.025 points in the uneven bars competition. Prince Charles awarded her with an MBE for her athletic efforts in 2010.

Who’s your Olympic idol and why?
[British middle distance athlete] Kelly Holmes and [English long distance runner] Paula Radcliffe. They have had injuries throughout their career but still comeback and achieved amazing things.

What is your earlier memory of watching the Summer Games?
The 1992 Barcelona Olympics. I remember watching the athletics competitions with Sally Gunnell and Linford Christie and asking my parents what it was all about.

If you weren’t competing in your sport, which one do you think you’d like to try?
I am not sure, maybe diving. It is something similar to ours except I would have to learn to land on my head instead of my feet.

What is your favorite thing about the Games?
I really like the fact of how the whole world comes together. It is true that sport can bring people of all backgrounds together.

What do you love the most about your sport?
I love the fact that gymnastics is so unique. It is not something you can just get up and have a go it takes a lot of hours practice. It’s the closest I am ever going to get to flying.

What do you hope people take away from seeing the Games hosted in your home country?
I hope that people are inspired by some of the stories that they will see throughout the Games. Everyone can have a go at sport and hopefully they will try some different sports that they maybe haven’t thought about.

Outside of competition, what are you looking to do in London during the Games?
I think just being a part of the whole atmosphere. London is going to put on a real show throughout the Games and just to be a part of that will be an amazing thing.

Aside from your sport, what else do you love to do?
I love to be able to spend time with my family and friends. We are away on training camps and competing so much and it is nice to be able to see them when I can.

What’s your favorite thing to do in London?
To be honest I don’t get to London very often so I guess I would like to do all the sight-seeing tours and see all the tourist bits and obviously go shopping.

Favorite British TV show?
I love “Hollyoaks” and it’s set in the town where I grew up — Chester.

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