Whelan at the 2012 Olympic Games
Hannah Kate Whelan
July 1 1992
5 ft. 3 in.
City of Liverpool
Hannah Kate Whelan (born 1 July 1992) is a retired British artistic gymnast. She competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics. She's 2012 European Balance Beam and Floor Exercise bronze medalist. She's also 2014 European silver medalist with the team.
Hannah Whelan was born on 1 July 1992 in Singapore to Mike and Karen Whelan where she lived until she was two years old. Her family then moved to Stockport, United Kingdom. It was here that Whelan began gymnastics. She said, "At the age of six, after constantly cart wheeling around the house and Tesco I persuaded my Mum to take me to a gymnastic class. There I was immediately spotted as a talent and began training at South Manchester Gymnastics Club with coach Helen Hall." A year later, at the age of seven, Whelan's family moved to Texas, United States where she trained at Flips Gymnastics Academy. In 2001, at the age of nine, her family moved back to Stockport and Whelan resumed training with Helen Hall this time at Vernon Park Gymnastics Club.
In 2005, Whelan switched gyms to City of Liverpool Gymnastics Club with coach Sarah Attwell and alongside Beth Tweddle. Whelan said, "Beth always helped me in the gym. Just the little comments help to pick you up if things are going wrong. She has the experience and she has had bad days in the gym, but it's good to know that she's gotten where she has by living through the same things that you are." After 2008, Whelan began training under coach, Amanda Reddin. She said, "I totally trust Amanda. She knows exactly what she wants me to do and what needs to be in my training program in order for me to have a successful year."
Whelan attended Bramhall High School but missed much of her final year due to training. Despite this, she passed eight GCSE exams including seven B's and one C. She is currently studying Sports Development at John Moores University in Liverpool.
In March, Whelan competed at the World Cup event in Doha, Qatar. She placed eighth on balance beam scoring 13.000 and eighth on floor scoring 13.050.
In June, Whelan competed at the British Championships in Guildford, United Kingdom. She placed third in the all around competition with a score of 56.100.
In August, Whelan competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. She contributed scores of 14.325 on balance beam and 14.125 on floor toward the British team's ninth place finish.
In March, Whelan competed at the European Championships in Milan, Italy. She placed seventeenth in the all around final with a score of 54.325.
In May, Whelan participated at the British Teams competition in Guildford, United Kingdom. She helped her club, City of Liverpool, win first place with an all around score of 56.400.
In July, Whelan competed at the British Championships in Guildford, United Kingdom. She placed fifth in the all around competition with a score of 52.150. In event finals, she placed second on balance beam scoring 14.300 and fourth on floor scoring 13.350.
In September, Whelan had surgery on her wrist.
In June, Whelan competed at the World Cup event in Porto, Portugal. She placed third on floor with a score of 13.400. In July, Whelan competed at the British Championships in Guildford, United Kingdom. She won the all around competition with a score of 57.800. Whelan said, "I'm really, really happy! I didn't have any aims or expectations coming into the competition, so to then go out and win is just incredible. I've had injury problems so to then return and become British champion is fantastic." In event finals, she placed third on uneven bars scoring 13.800, second on balance beam scoring 14.100 and third on floor scoring 13.750.
In October, Whelan competed at the World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She contributed scores of 13.900 on uneven bars, 14.133 on balance beam, and 14.066 on floor toward the British team's seventh place finish. She placed sixteenth in the all around final with a score of 55.499. Whelan said, "It was good final and importantly I went clean on all pieces. I think I started to tire a bit towards the end of the competition having already competed in qualifications and the team final and it caught up with me at the end. Overall it’s been a great week; it’s been hard work, a good laugh and an exciting experience to be part of."
In March, Whelan placed eighth in the all around competition at the American Cup in Jacksonville, United States with a score of 52.532.
In April, Whelan competed at the European Championships in Berlin, Germany. She placed thirteenth in the all around final with a score of 54.175 and eighth in the balance beam final scoring of 11.950 after falling twice. Whelan said, "I started great, having thought I may be pretty shaky, but it was all going really well and then I don’t know what happened. I can’t blame nerves, as I actually felt pretty good so I don’t know what happened. Its brilliant that I made the final in the first place, with British gymnasts not usually excelling at beam, but still my week hasn’t been as good as I hoped so plenty more work to do!"
Later in April, Whelan placed fifth in the all around competition at the World Cup event in Glasgow, United Kingdom with a score of 52.132.
In May, Whelan participated at the British Teams competition in Guildford, United Kingdom. She helped her club, City of Liverpool, win first place with an all around score of 56.850.
In July, Whelan competed at the British Championships in Liverpool, United Kingdom. She won the all around competition with a score of 56.350. Whelan said, "I’m really pleased with today’s performance, there is still a few harder skills I'm working on but they weren’t quite ready for today’s competition. The atmosphere was really great in the arena and everybody was cheering each other on. To be crowned British Champion again is a huge honor for me - especially in Liverpool with such great support." In event finals, she placed second on uneven bars scoring 13.900, second on balance beam scoring 14.500, and fourth on floor scoring 14.150.
In October, Whelan competed at the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. She contributed an all around score of 55.665 toward the British team's fifth place finish meaning that the United Kingdom qualified a full team for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Whelan placed ninth in the all around final with a score of 56.124. She said, "I feel amazing, I’m really, really happy. I wasn't expecting that as I came in sixteenth last year and was just looking to improve on that. I really enjoyed the competition, didn’t feel the pressure and although it is strange not having all my teammates around me out there I could still hear them in the stands which helps a lot. I went clean on all my routines so am very proud. The consistency has been there all week which is a good sign going into next year, having spent a long time working hard in the gym it’s always good to see that pay off in competition. The week as a whole has been amazing, huge highs in getting to the Olympics and placing fifth in the team and now this, all the team have bonded so it’s looking really positive going into 2012."
In March, Whelan competed at the World Cup event in Doha, Qatar. She placed sixth on balance beam with a score of 13.425. In May, Whelan competed at the European Championships in Brussels, Belgium. She contributed an all around score of 55.498 toward the British team's fourth place finish. In event finals, she placed third on balance beam scoring 14.333 and third on floor scoring 14.533. Whelan said, "It feels amazing I’m over the moon, it’s really unexpected. I wanted to come out and enjoy the competition and I definitely did. I enjoy training beam and feel naturally comfortable on it and to get our first ever medal on that piece is very special. I've always dreamed of getting major medals and to come away with two is unbelievable. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the rest of the year."
In June, Whelan competed at the British Championships in Liverpool, United Kingdom. She placed third in the all around competition with a score of 55.800. Whelan said, "It wasn’t a perfect competition today but I still took the bronze medal so I can’t be too disappointed and I know that finishing near the top has got to help my chances of making the Olympic team which is the most important thing. This year I think I’ve improved a lot, winning two medals at the Europeans was a big boost and proves that on my day I can produce." In event finals, she placed fourth on uneven bars scoring 14.250, second on balance beam scoring 13.850, and third on floor scoring 13.900.
At the beginning of July, Whelan was selected to competed for the United Kingdom at the 2012 Summer Olympics alongside Imogen Cairns, Jennifer Pinches, Rebecca Tunney and Beth Tweddle.
At the end of July, Whelan competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. She qualified to the all around final in seventeenth place with a score of 55.699. In the team final, she contributed scores of 14.000 on uneven bars, 13.866 on balance beam, and 14.200 on floor toward the British team's sixth place finish. In the all around final, Whelan landed her vault on her knees meaning she received a score of zero and finished in last place. She said, "I'm devastated, I don't know what happened on vault, I think I had too much adrenaline going into it. I'm so proud of Rebecca though, the whole team have done so well here and we are all looking forward to supporting Beth in bars final on Monday."
Whelan continued to compete after the Olympics, winning silver on balance beam at the British Championships in March. Originally, she was named to the British team for the European Championships, but was later replaced by Charlie Fellows.
In September, Whelan competed at the Turnen Dames Interland, placing fourth on balance beam. Shortly afterwards, she was named to the British team for the World Championships. She only competed on floor exercise, but did not advance to the final.
In early March, she competed at the Welsh Championships, winning the all-around in the Open division. At the British Championships, she only competed beam, where she won a silver medal, and floor, where she won a bronze medal. In April, she competed at two friendly meets, one against gymnasts from Germany and Spain, another against the Netherlands, winning team gold in both competitions.
In May, she competed at the European Championships, winning silver with her team. She then competed at the Commonwealth Games, winning team gold, all-around bronze (she and teammates Claudia Fragapane and Ruby Harrold swept the podium), and placing sixth on floor. In September, she competed at the British Team Championships, helping her club, City of Liverpool, win the gold medal, and was promptly named to the British team for the World Championships. She performed well in qualifications but a shaky beam routine in the team final landed Great Britain in sixth place.
In February 2015, Whelan officially announced her retirement from gymnastics.
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