London 2012

Beth Tweddle

Ones to Watch

Although the pressure will be on her to be successful on home soil, expect the diminutive Beth Tweddle - who stands tall at 5ft 3" - to just keep on smiling at London 2012, no matter what the outcome.

Fascinating Facts:

  • She owns a company called 'Total Gymnastics' which works with schools, leisure centres and clubs to develop the sport
  • Tweddle is the only gymnast to finish in the top three for Sports Personality of the Year

The 26-year-old may be Britain's leading hope for a medal in gymnastics but she was actually born in Johannesburg as her father was temporarily employed in South Africa.

She moved to England at 18 months old and was raised in Cheshire, joining her local gymnastics club at the age of seven. But, what started out as something of a hobby quickly became much more serious.

Tweddle soon became a member of the British Junior National Team and, with her natural talent now obvious, she joined the City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club.

Under the stewardship of coach Amanda Redding - who competed in the 1984 Olympics - she has gone on to become Britain's most successful gymnast ever.

The uneven bars is her area of expertise and she has won two of her three world titles in that discipline, firstly in 2006 and then again in Rotterdam four years later (her other world gold came on the floor in 2009).

Tweddle - who was recognised with an MBE in the 2010 New Years Honours list - graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Sports Science and has a place to do physiotherapy in 2012.

However, before she can get back to her studies, Tweddle will want to finally get her hands on an Olympic medal, particularly as she finished fourth in the uneven bars in the last Games in Beijing after attempting the toughest routine out of all the finalists.

Beth Tweddle

  • DOB: 01/04/1985
  • Event: Gymnastics
  • Wins: 3x World champion