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Meet the GB gymnastics team
Around the Academy:

Beth Tweddle, Katy Lennon and Vanessa Hobbs
From left to right: Beth, Katy and Vanessa
The Academy caught up with British Olympic gymnasts Beth Tweddle, Katy Lennon and Vanessa Hobbs for the lowdown on their sport.

Academy: When did you first start doing gymnastics?

Beth: I was aged seven and I had too much energy around the house, so my mum thought she'd channel it by taking me along to the local sports centre to try out gymnastics.

And here I am now!

Katy: My mum used to run an under-fives gymnastics club; I got spotted there and went to the local gymnastics club before joining the elite squad.

V: I started when I was six and started gradually getting picked up into squads. I started taking gymnastics seriously from the age of nine.

A: What's the best thing about being a gymnast?

A gymnast somersaults during a floor session
Let's get ready to tumble!

B: It's not a sport anyone can have a try. For example, in football you can start by just kicking a ball around.

With gymnastics you have to spend hours practising your moves.

It's the thrill of throwing yourself around and landing back on your feet - hopefully!

K: Getting to visit loads of different countries and seeing lots of different cultures.

V: I love it when you've competed and you're really pleased with what you've done.

The crowd have watched you, you're happy and they've helped you get into your routine. It's just a great feeling when you've done really well.

A: What's the hardest part of training?

A gymnasts bends her legs over her head
Don't try this at home!

B: Waking up in the morning knowing you've got a six-hour day ahead of you, having to go in the gym and do the same thing over and over again.

But then again you've got your team-mates who are in the same position and there's the coaches to motivate you. Everyone helps you along.

K: Doing the same thing over and over again, but getting better each time you do it.

You get a great sense of achievement that you've gone that one step further.

V: It's hard when you wake up in the morning and you think: "here we go again".

But when you know you can push through those days, it makes thing a whole lot easier.


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Katy Lennon factfile
Born: 16 October 1984, Carshalton, Surrey
Club: Leatherhead and Dorking
Best apparatus: Asymmetric bars
Football team: Liverpool
Favourite films: Dirty Dancing, Cabin Fever
Favourite music: R + B, hip-hop
Future career: Beautician or fitness instructor
Major medals: Silver 2002 Commonwealth Games

Beth Tweddle factfile
Born: 1 April 1985, South Africa
Nickname: Beth, Tweds
Home town: Liverpool
Club: City of Liverpool
Best apparatus: Asymmetric bars
Football team: Liverpool
Favourite films: Any scary film
Favourite music: Usher, any R + B
Future career: Physiotherapist
Major medals: Silver, Team England, Gold, a-bars 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, Bronze, a-bars, 2003 World Championships, Anaheim, Silver, a-bars, 2004 European Championships, Amsterdam


Watch all the top gymnasts in action at the World Cup Finals on BBC Grandstand 11/12 December



INTERNET LINKS >>
:: British Gymnastics
:: International Gymnastics Federation

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