The British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced today the 18 gymnasts who will represent Team GB across all three gymnastic disciplines at the London 2012 Olympic Games later this month. The announcement was made today at Loughborough University, where the Team GB Preparation Camp is located.
The Artistic gymnasts will kick off Team GB’s gymnastics campaign at London 2012, with the competition taking place from the 28th July to the 2nd August, and from the 5th to the 7th August at the North Greenwich Arena. The Trampoline Gymnastics competition will also take place at the same venue, on the 3rd and 4th of August. Rhythmic Gymnastics will be held at Wembley Arena from the 9th to the 12th of August.
The gymnasts selected to Team GB today are:
Trampoline Individual Female
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Team GB will compete across five Olympic events in the Artistic, Rhythmic and Trampoline disciplines at London 2012, and will look to build on the bronze medal which Louis Smith won at Beijing 2008 to record Team GB’s first Olympic gymnastics medal for 80 years. Since then, British gymnastics has gone from strength to strength, with an unprecedented number of World, European and international titles won in the last four years.
Three-time World Champion Beth Tweddle leads the women’s selection. She is Great Britain’s most successful gymnast in history, and represented Team GB at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, where she narrowly missed out on a medal by finishing fourth in the asymmetric bars competition. Beth will look to carry the fine form she displayed at the 2012 British Championships last month, where she claimed double-gold in the bars and floor competitions.
Beth is joined by 23-year-old Imogen Cairns, who is regarded as one of Great Britain’s finest vaulters. After suffering injury troubles during the early stages of her career, Imogen is now firmly back on the international scene, and claimed two gold and one silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Fifteen-year-old Rebecca Tunney is also included in the squad, and she will be Team GB’s youngest athlete at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In the men’s artistic competition, Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Louis Smith leads the team. He will look to build on his performance in Beijing, and reproduce the fine form he displayed at the 2012 European Championships in May, where he claimed team gold and pommel horse silver.
Louis is joined in the team by 21-year-old Dan Purvis, who claimed bronze medals in the floor event at both the 2010 World and European Championships. He also won the 2011 World Cup event in Glasgow, and finished last year as the number-one ranked male gymnast in the world. Nineteen-year-old Sam Oldham is the youngest member of the men’s selection, and made his senior debut at the World Cup in Cottbus last year, where he reached the final of the high bar competition. Sam is also the current reigning Youth Olympic champion in the high bar event.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“I am delighted to welcome these 18 gymnasts to Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Representing your country at the Olympics is a very unique, special experience and I am sure this talented and determined group of gymnasts will play a full part as members of Our Greatest Team at our home Olympic Games.
“The group of athletes selected today possesses a good balance of youth and experience, with Beth Tweddle competing in her third Olympic Games, and Beijing bronze medallist Louis Smith, Imogen Cairns and Hannah Whelan all competing at their second. The rest of the team will be making their Olympic debuts at London 2012, including 15-year-old Rebecca Tunney, who will be Team GB’s youngest athlete this summer.
“Gymnastics in the UK has gone from strength to strength since Beijing 2008. Never before have we won so many international gymnastics medals and had such a successful Olympic cycle as the last four years and I am fully confident that with the support of the UK behind them, our gymnasts will deliver many memorable performances to inspire the nation.”
British Gymnastics Olympic Performance Director Tim Jones said:
“We are extremely proud to be able to name such a strong team to compete for Team GB in the Gymnastics disciplines in London. The competition for places has been intense and we had both the luxury and challenge of so many great gymnasts to select from.
“This Olympic cycle to date has been the most productive and successful ever for British Gymnastics at international level, and we go into the Games in great shape with more gymnasts capable of making their mark than ever before. The mood in the camp is positive and we are all looking forwards to building our reputation ever further with a strong showing at London 2012.”
Beth Tweddle said:
“It is of course a massive honour to be selected to Team GB for the Olympic Games. 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 everything about the Games this year and people are really interested in all the events and all the team members
“From Beijing to here has been a long journey. 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.”
Louis Smith said:
“It’s unbelievable to be named as part of Team GB for London. It’s been such an intense time in the lead up to the announcement with such a strong squad to pick from. Now we’ve got to do the business at the Games, which we’re all capable of.
“It’s just been a crazy four years since Beijing, for me and especially for gymnastics in this country. I’m not sure anyone ever expected such rapid development and it’s such a positive thing for everyone involved in the sport. Now we have a chance to really show how far we’ve come.
Francesca Jones said:
“To at last be able to call myself a member of Team GB is amazing. It was back in September that I began to really focus on the Games after being the top ranked gymnast at the World Championships, and although this meant I was the favourite to be picked, I have never stopped working hard to ensure this was confirmed.
“I can’t even imagine what it is going to be like at the Games. The whole atmosphere is going to be crazy for the Team GB athletes and the whole of Britain is going to be so excited. To leave a lasting legacy from these Games which inspires people to take up rhythmic gymnastics would be a dream come true for me.”
Katherine Driscoll said:
“It has been a long selection process for trampoline, so to be able to come out on top and be named part of Team GB is an incredible feeling and a huge honour.
“I've dreamt of competing at an Olympic games since I was a child and continually told my Dad that I would be there one day as part of Team GB.”
Rachel Smith said:
“As a group we have worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and have been through all the emotions along the way, and I think in the end this has only made us all appreciate it even more.
“I can’t wait to represent our country and to do ourselves proud. I am so excited for the Olympic Games and I find myself counting down the days until we compete. We hope to put on a good show and to repay everything which everyone has done for us.”