Full Twist contributor Anna Rose Johnson recently caught up with Beth Tweddle to discuss her decorated career, London 2012, and what she’s been up to lately.
Beth Tweddle is one of Great Britian’s most successful gymnasts. A three-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist on uneven bars, Beth pioneered gymnastics at a high level in her home country. She competed at her first World Championships in 2001 and placed fourth on bars at the Worlds in 2002. She is a three-time World champion; she won two gold medals on uneven bars (2006, 2010), and one on floor exercise (2009). Beth retired from competitive gymnastics in 2013.
FT: What have you been up to lately?
BT: Since retiring from competitive gymnastics, I have been up to a mixture of things. I have my company Total Gymnastics, which enables children to try gymnastics on their doorstep. Since retiring, my passion for the sport has transferred from performing to inspiring the next generation. I love working with young aspiring gymnasts. I am also working with the BBC commentating on gymnastics, so I was luckily enough to be at the Commonwealth Games in the summer and the Worlds in China. I also do a lot of visits to schools and local gym clubs.
FT: Do you ever consider making a comeback in gymnastics?
BT: The simple answer is no. I am happy with my decision to retire and I obviously miss the big competitions but I don’t miss the hours of training and the injuries. When I watch a competition now I appreciate so much how hard the gymnasts have had to work to be able to be out on the competition floor. Gymnastics still plays a big part in my life and it always will.
FT: What was your favorite skill to compete?
BT: I didn’t have one specific skill that I liked to compete. The thing I liked so much about the sport is the fact that there is so much variety and you don’t have to do the same thing every day.
FT: You competed under two very different Code of Points—the “10.0.” system and the current system. Which one did you prefer?
BT: I don’t think I could say which one I prefer. I was successful with both Codes of Points. I think they both have/had their strengths and weaknesses.
FT: Can you tell us a little about winning the uneven bars bronze at the 2012 Olympics in your home country?
BT: London 2012 is a moment that I will never forget. It had taken me 20 years to be able to pick up that medal and the relief when I finally found out that I had achieved it was unbelievable. It meant so much but not only for myself but also for my coach Amanda [Reddin] who had stuck by me throughout my whole career, even when things didn’t go to plan.
FT: What’s a typical day like for you now?
BT: There isn’t such thing as a typical day in my life anymore. I am doing something different every day and I can be in a different city every day. I love the variety of things that I am involved in now and the opportunities that I have now that I’m not in training.
FT: What is it like to be on the FIG Athletes’ Commission?
BT: It is a great honour that I am able to represent the gymnasts on the Athlete’s Commission. It has been very different to be on the other side of the fence but I am really enjoying it and hoping that I can help [make] a pathway between the gymnasts themselves and the FIG.
FT: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Full Twist readers?
BT: I would like to thank British Gymnastics for my inducting me into their Hall of Fame. It was a massive honour. They have supported me throughout my career and I just have to wish any gymnasts on [the] journey to achieving their dreams to remember that they too can achieve them.
Special thanks to Beth for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with Full Twist!