AFTER claiming an Olympic medal on home soil this summer in front of a watching world, Beth Tweddle is now hoping that she can enjoy more success in front of millions - this time on the ice.
Bunbury gymnast Beth is taking a hiatus from competitive gymnastics following her stunning bronze medal winning performance in the uneven bars at London 2012, but will be keeping the sequins for her latest endeavour.
Beth, 26, is to appear in the forthcoming series of the hit ITV1 show Dancing On Ice, where she will don her ice skates and face off against a host of other celebrities, including ex-Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and rugby legend, Gareth Thomas.
Bookmakers have already installed the former Queen’s School pupil as one of the favourites for this years show, but, speaking to the Leader, Beth was quick to point out how tough the challenge will be.
“A lot of people have said that I have an unfair advantage over the other celebrities as I am a gymnast and have experience of putting together routines,” said Beth, a three-time world champion.
“There is a massive difference between doing a routine on the floor and doing one on the ice. It will be a massive challenge but I am really excited about it and, hopefully, I can do well in the competition.”
Beth, who was awarded an MBE in the 2010 New Years Honours List, has been partnered with former Dancing On Ice winning professional, Dan Whiston, and has been putting in long hours at ice rinks in Deeside and Manchester.
“The training is tough and I have spent a lot of time on the floor. The good thing is that I keep getting back up again.” she said.
“After years of gymnastics, I am used to taking knocks and I have managed to get a fair few bruises since I’ve been training for Dancing On Ice. I’ve got a really good partner in Dan who has won the show before.
Beth has put on hold plans to study physiotherapy at the University of Liverpool for the time being, but has not called time just yet on her gymnastics career, claiming she has more to give following her performance in London during the
“I’m taking a break from competition but I’m keeping my body in good shape and I will hopefully return at some stage next year,” said Beth, who is Britain’s greatest ever gymnast. “I think I showed at the Olympics that I can still compete at the highest level, and as long as I can do that, I will still stay involved in competitive gymnastics.
“However, after London I thought that the time was right to take a break and challenge myself in a new way, and Dancing On Ice is certainly going to be a challenge.”
After a career which has seen her claim titles across the world, Beth says that her bronze medal winning experience at London 2012 ranks with the very best moments of her career.
“I always wanted to perform in front of a home crowd at the Olympics and it was just an unbelievable experience,” she said. “To win a medal in front of a packed house of home fans cheering your name was one of the best feelings of my career and is something that I will always remember.
“With the Olympics and the success the Team GB gymnastic team had, this year has had some great moments for me and, with Dancing On Ice, hopefully I can start 2013 in a really positive way and enjoy some success of a different kind.”
The latest series of Dancing On Ice begins on January 6.
See full story in the Chester Leader