Triple Olympic Medalist, Double European Junior Champion and 2006 Commonwealth Champion, Louis Smith had his first taste of the Olympic atmosphere when he beat the best of the World’s elite competitors in his age group to take the pommel horse Gold Medal for Team GB at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
On August 9th, 2008 he qualified in 5th place for the Olympic final of the men’s pommel horse and 8 days later went on to win the Bronze Medal in that final, becoming the first Briton to win a medal in the individual gymnastics at the Olympic Games since 1908. He was also the first Briton to win a medal in gymnastics at the Olympic Games since the women’s team won a bronze medal in 1928.
In and amongst all of his commitments outside of the gym, including a whole host of commercial commitments, Louis continued to train hard and impress in competition, qualifying for the World Cup Final in Madrid in 2009 as one of the top 8 in the World on the pommel horse, where he finished 4th. The end of 2009 saw Louis compete in front of his home crowd at the World Championships at the O2 arena, which was the Olympic venue for the Games in London in 2012. Despite easing his way through qualification, Louis came off the pommel horse. Philosophical as ever, Louis took that experience and built from it, determined to use it to his advantage in future competition.
Louis was part of the Great Britain team who won a bronze medal at the men’s artistic team all-around event, marking the first team medal for a British Olympic gymnastics team for 100 years. Louis also won the silver medal in the men’s pommel horse final and went on to win silver again in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Image copyright: Image © Flickr / Jim Thurston http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimthurston/7973722862/
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