Four-time Olympic medallist, Louis Smith MBE has officially announced his retirement from the sport.
Louis retires having won Britain’s first medal in 100 years at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where he won bronze on the pommel horse. He then went on to win two further medals at the London 2012 Olympics on the pommel (silver) and with the GB team (bronze). He didn’t stop there and in 2016, eight years after his first Olympic medal, he took another silver on the pommel horse in Rio.
Louis was one of the finest gymnasts and pommel horse workers in the world for many years. His outstanding results had a huge impact on the development of men’s gymnastics in Great Britain and he has been a great inspiration to the next generation of gymnasts.
"Gymnastics has given me everything," said Smith, who announced his retirement on ITV show Lorraine. "It gave me the tools necessary to channel my ADHD throughout my childhood, and as I grew up through the sport, I quickly found a purpose in life, and it has made me the person I am today.
"From a young age it became my dream to compete at an Olympic Games and represent Great Britain, so to have had the opportunity to do that on three separate occasions, and bring home four Olympic medals in the process, is something I will forever cherish and for which I am eternally grateful."
British Gymnastics Men’s Head National Coach and Louis’ former personal coach, Paul Hall said: “I first met Louis when he was around seven years old. His mum couldn’t decide whether to send him on a choral scholarship or to go with gymnastics. Seven years later, Peterborough Cathedral may have missed a boy soprano, but GB had a Junior European Champion on Pommel Horse.
“He competed at the 2005 World Championships, won a World Medal in Stuttgart in 2007, and an historic Olympic bronze in 2008. His result was a catalyst for the incredible success that Team GB has enjoyed in the past decade and I’m privileged to have worked with such an immense talent. Too many stories to put into one paragraph but his contribution deserves to be recognized: 4 Commonwealth medals, seven European medals, five world medals, four Olympic medals, and one Glitterball. Great job Louis!”
Louis is looking forward to exciting new adventures and will be starring in the musical Rip it Up on London's West End in February.