Georgia-Mae Fenton hoping to emulate hero Beth Tweddle at Paris 2024

Georgia-Mae Fenton
-Credit: (Image: Team GB/Ben Duffy)

Gravesend gymnast Georgia-Mae Fenton is relishing the chance to emulate hero Beth Tweddle at this summer’s Olympics.

The European and Commonwealth Games gold medallist will compete on the biggest stage for the first time after securing selection for Team GB’s 13-strong gymnastics squad for Paris 2024.

The 23-year-old journeyed to Japan as a reserve three years ago and made a vow to herself that she would experience the Olympics in all its glory this time.

“From the moment I was selected as a reserve, I was like: ‘this can't happen again,’” said Fenton.

“I didn’t want to have to be in that position. I worked a lot but I do believe in timing as well and looking back now was I really ready? I don't know.

“Definitely some character development and character building. And I'm still really pleased I did do it and got that experience. I feel like I've worked on myself and my gymnastics ever since and this whole cycle has been amazing and I never expected this to happen to me.”

Fenton grew up idolising London 2012 bronze medallist Tweddle and watched her closely in an attempt to improve her own gymnastics.

“I went to my level two competition and I was absolutely terrible at bars,” said Fenton.

“Obviously she's amazing and I remember I went into the gym a little bit early and I saw her and I was just in awe, I just wanted to be like her.

“From that moment I worked on myself and I definitely got better at bars so I did myself proud there.

“It's always great to have an idol to look up to and to have that come to fruition and hopefully, I can be inspiring to the younger generation myself as well.”

Fenton is one of over 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering medical support – this is vital for her pathway to the Paris 2024 Games.

Of the six men and seven women selected in Team GB’s artistic and trampoline squad, eight are Olympic debutants and five are returning Olympians, including triple gold medallist Max Whitlock.

“Team GB has proven itself as a serious medal contender in all three of gymnastics disciplines selected and it is fantastic to head to Paris with athletes who not only have Games experience, but experience of standing on that Olympic rostrum,” said Chef de Mission Mark England.

“I am sure all eight Olympic debutants in the team will lean on their experience this summer, and the team will once again make the nation proud.”

Whitlock will spearhead the men’s artistic team and will become the first gymnast to win four Olympic medals on the same apparatus if he adds to his two golds and a bronze on the pommel horse in Paris.

“This Olympics is even more crazy for me because it’s going be my last one," commented Whitlock. “I am excited to trust the process and give it everything I’ve got as there’s nothing to lose at this stage.

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