GET BACK ON THE HORSE, LOUIS!
He’s impressed the Strictly judges, now it’s time for the markers in Rio
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