Gymnastics: Olympic bronze medallist Beth Tweddle announces retirement

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The 28-year-old is Britain's most successful ever gymnast

Beth Tweddle today confirmed her retirement from gymnastics with immediate effect.

A year to the day after winning Olympic bronze in the uneven bars, the 28-year-old from Cheshire became the latest London 2012 British medallist to call time on her career.

"It's been a hard decision to make; gymnastics has been and always will be a massive part of my life," Tweddle said.

"Following the Olympics I've had a lot of projects on and recently I've had a bit more time to get back into the gym and decide whether I could put 100% into it and I know now deep down I can't commit to the hours and training to remain at the very top."

The three-time world champion, six-time European champion and seven-time national champion is Britain's most successful gymnast, and there had been much talk over her possible retirement since she added an Olympic medal to her collection last year.

She had already dismissed the possibility of competing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and now will not go on to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

She joins the likes of cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton and swimmer Rebecca Adlington in ending her sporting career post- London 2012, while Ben Ainslie announced his retirement from Olympic sailing earlier this year.

"I don't think my achievements will ever really sink in but when I do look back I can be very proud of what I've done and how I've done it," Tweddle added.

She made her announcement today at Chobham Academy, a new school which opens next month in East Village, the new residential development on the site of the London 2012 Athletes' Village.

She announced the first athlete-led legacy programme on the London Olympic site, to be based at Chobham Academy and known as the Beth Tweddle Academy.

It will form part of a national programme to provide the opportunity for as many children as possible to take up gymnastics, within schools, leisure centres and gymnastics clubs to help develop the sport around the country, run by Total Gymnastics, which was set up by Tweddle and Steve Parry, the former Olympic swimmer.

Tweddle added: "The London 2012 Olympics is where I achieved my life-long dream and now I hope I can inspire the next generation of youngsters by providing the opportunity for them to try gymnastics.

"I'm honoured that Chobham Academy has chosen to support my academy, and it's very special for me to be able to do this on the Olympic site.

"The school opens this September and my academy will be starting in mid-October it will be open to anyone in the local area that wants to come along.

"I want to give every child an opportunity to try gymnastics. I had to try a lot of sports before I found gymnastics, this way children can have a go; they might love it, they might hate it, but at least we've given them the opportunity to try it."

London 2012 chief and British Olympic Association chair Lord Sebastian Coe was among those to pay tribute.

He said: "During a remarkable career that has seen her achieve unprecedented success at every level of competition, Beth Tweddle has set a new standard of excellence for British Gymnastics.

"She has been an inspiration and a role model for a generation."

PA

Video: Beth Tweddle speaks about her difficult decision

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy