Gym­nas­tics has given me ev­ery­thing, ad­mits re­tir­ing Smith

Western Daily Press - - Sport -

LOUIS Smith has an­nounced his re­tire­ment from gym­nas­tics at the age of 29.

Smith was Great Bri­tain’s first in­di­vid­ual Olympic medal­list for a cen­tury when he won bronze on the pom­mel horse at the 2008 Games in Bei­jing. He won a sil­ver on the pom­mel and a team bronze at Lon­don 2012 and se­cured an­other pom­mel sil­ver in Rio four years later.

Smith wrote on Face­book: “Gym has given me ev­ery­thing – it gave me the tools nec­es­sary to chan­nel my ADHD through­out my child­hood, and as I grew up through the sport, I very quickly found a pur­pose in life, and it has made me the per­son I am.

“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. I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved in the sport and hope that my achieve­ments have left a legacy that will con­tinue to in­spire gym­nasts of the fu­ture.”

Smith had been work­ing to­wards qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but now says he will pur­sue “other ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that I’ve been pre­sented with”.

Smith, who also won three World Cham­pi­onship medals dur­ing his ca­reer, was also the win­ner of Strictly Come Danc­ing in 2012.

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