AFTER all the questions about retirement, the injuries and the operations, Beth Tweddle has finally been confirmed as part of Team GB for her third Olympic Games.
It is likely to be the former Queen’s School pupil’s swansong, the final opportunity for Britain’s greatest ever gymnast to secure the one honour missing from her collection – an Olympic medal.
The three-time world champion from Bunbury led the women’s selection yesterday and she admitted she was delighted to be chosen.
“It is of course a massive honour to be selected to Team GB for the Olympic Games,” said Tweddle.
“This is my third Olympics and with it being on home soil it’s definitely the most special. The build-up has been totally different and you really feel the support of the whole country.
“Everyone knows every -thing about the Games this year and people are really interested in all the events and all the team members.”
Tweddle has been an athlete with a presence in the public consciousness for almost a decade.
At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing a nation waited on tenterhooks to see if Tweddle, with her specially created super-complex bars routine, had done enough to win a medal.
She had already spent the previous two years hinting she would retire after Beijing and when she finished fourth, she had to think hard about whether she could commit to another four years of tough training to give it one more shot at the age of 27.
“From Beijing to here has been a long journey,” she said. “After 2008 I wasn’t even sure I would carry on, but the huge support for London and the enthusiasm of the public has really motivated me and inspired me to carry on training hard.
“Everything about competing in the Olympic Games is exciting, the moment you get the official letter, the kitting out, the multi-sport atmosphere, it’s all a huge honour to be a part of and I can’t wait.”
Tweddle has managed to maintain her place among the world’s elite in the intervening time and last month she won gold on the bars at the British Artistic Gymnastics Championships.