5 November 2015Beth visits Barrow school to give talk
At the Furness Academy Annual Awards Evening, Year 11 students were not only presented certificates for their achievements but were also given an inspiration talk by Olympic Bronze Medalist, Beth Tweddle.
Miss Tweddle, 30, appeared as the guest speak at the event last night and talked to the audience about her life as a gymnast and her life since retirement.
She said: "Now that I have retired I love going round the country and seeing the natural talent that is out there.
"I first started gymnastics when I was seven because I was hyper-active - I was a nightmare.
"My parents wanted me to do sport to keep me busy, so I tried swimming, hockey and horse riding but nothing took my fancy, not until I started gymnastics.
"I did my first competition and I never looked back."
Miss Tweddle went on to talk about her experiences at the Olympics.
She travelled to Athens for the 2004 Olympics when she was just 19.
She said: "It was a proud moment to be able to represent my home country and I came home from Athens inspired. My aim then became to win an Olympic medal."
Miss Tweddle worked tirelessly for the next four years and at the age of 23 travelled to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics.
She finished fourth place and described it as a 'huge disappointment'.
She said: "I left Beijing thinking that was it, I would be too old too compete in the next Olympics.
"But after a holiday with some friends I decided that I couldn't give up on that dream so for the next four years I carried on."
Miss Tweddle fulfilled her aspiration at the 2012 London Olympics were she was awarded a bronze medal for her routine.
She said: "I lived, breathed and slept gymnastics and the noise I heard before I walked into the room was incredible.
"I had never experienced any support like that and I just kept thinking 20 years of training and I have got 35 seconds to prove myself.
"For me it was relief. I felt 10 feet taller. It was a dream come true."
Miss Tweddle retired from being a gymnast in August 2013 and since then has made many appearances in the media, including winning TV show, Dancing on Ice.
She now has her own company that teaches recreational gymnastics and she visits a lot of gym clubs around the country trying to inspire the younger generation.
She ended her talk at Furness Academy by wishing the students well.
She said: "If you have got a dream go for it, do not let anyone tell you that you can't achieve it - don't give up."