GET BACK ON THE HORSE, LOUIS!

He’s im­pressed the Strictly judges, now it’s time for the mark­ers in Rio

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

Louis Smith has all the moves - whether it be to win gold or cel­e­brate on the dance floor after­wards. Al­ways singing and al­ways danc­ing, there will be no ex­cuse for Peter­bor­ough’s star gym­nast not to party in style if he takes first place in Sun­day evening’s pom­mel horse fi­nal at the Rio Olympics.

Guy Bar­ron has known the for­mer Strictly Come Danc­ing win­ner all his life and will be cheer­ing him on as he bat­tles Team GB team mate and world cham­pion Max Whit­lock for a first Olympic gold.

Guy(51) of Eye, where Louis grew up, said: “He’s a lovely old boy, he’s got a re­ally nice man­ner and is hum­ble.

“He’s al­ways singing and danc­ing. And he’s a good singer and good dancer.

“I will be watch­ing with great in­ter­est and hope. I think he will def­i­nitely get a gold or sil­ver. Him or Max will win it.”

Louis, who at­tended Arthur Mel­lows Vil­lage Col­lege in Glin­ton, suf­fered per­sonal dis­ap­point­ment dur­ing Mon­day’s men’s team event when he fell off the pom­mel horse at­tempt­ing a tough rou­tine in an at­tempt to sal­vage a bronze medal.

But Paul Hall, who coaches Louis at the Hunt­ing don Gym­nas­tics Club, is in no doubt he can bounce back in style and add to the bronze and sil­ver Olympic medals he has al­ready won.

“He said: “He will be out to prove a point. He was very dis­ap­pointed to fall as he wanted to help the team.

“I would have loved him to get through and do a bril­liant rou­tine but I do not think it would have been enough to help the team get a bronze medal. He can use this as a pos­i­tive to help him do a job at the week­end.”

Paul is rock climb­ing in Wales on Sun­day but will find a screen to watch him in ac­tion, and he said other mem­bers of the gym, who are very close to Louis, will also be cheer­ing him on.

“I think he can do it and he thinks he can,” added Paul.

“I’ve been work­ing with Louis for 20 years. He got bronze in Bei­jing and sil­ver in Lon­don, and to get gold would be the end of an amaz­ing story.”

Whether Louis wins or not, Mayor of Peter­bor­ough Coun­cil­lor David San­ders, who rep­re­sents Eye on Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, be­lieves Louis de­serves the Free­dom of the City.

He said: “We are def­i­nitely cheer­ing him on. We are very proud to have him as our adopted son. I’ve met him a few times and I think he’s a great am­bas­sador for the city .”

There is fur­ther Peter­bor­ough rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the Games through wind­surfer Nick Dempsey who was raised in the city and learned his trade at Ferry Meadow.

Dempsey, who will be the most suc­cess­ful male wind­surfer of all time if he adds gold to his Athens 2004 bronze and Lon­don 2012 sil­ver, holds a nar­row lead at the half-way stage of the RS: Xwind­surf­ing.

‘He’s a great am­bas­sador for the city.’ David San­ders

Louis is con­soled af­ter his fall

Louis turn­ing on the Christ­mas lights in 2015, mid­dle: danc­ing with teacher Laura Wales at Wer­ring­ton Pri­mary School and right: Nick Dempsey dur­ing the Rio Games. Photo: AP/Bernat Armangue

Louis com­pet­ing dur­ing Mon­day’s men’s team fi­nal. Photo : Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

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