Louis Smith MBE
Louis grew up in Eye, Peterborough and began his love affair with Gymnastics at the age of 4. Suffering with severe ADHD, it was Gymnastics that captured his mind and 3 years after his entry into the sport he began training at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club. Under the guidance of his coach Paul Hall, Louis began to excel and at 15 years old secured his first major international title, becoming Junior European Champion. Further indication of his ability on the world stage came 2 years later as he secured Commonwealth Games Gold.
In 2008 came the Beijing Olympics and although still very much an unknown name to the British public, Louis won Bronze, becoming the first British gymnast to win an individual Olympic gymnastics medal in 100 years. With that success making him one of Britain’s biggest medal hopes ahead of London 2012, Louis didn’t disappoint. As captain, he qualified in first place for the pommel horse final whilst helping the boys to the team final for the first time since 1926.
The rest was history in the making as three days later Louis led the team to Britain’s first ever men’s Olympic team medal with Bronze.
Five days on from that Louis took on the hardest routine of his life in the pommel horse final in front of an expectant home crowd where he absorbed the pressure, securing his highest ever pommel horse score at a major International competition and ensuring an historic silver medal, equalling the gold-medal winning score.
Now Britain’s greatest ever gymnast, Louis has shot to fame off the back of his success and no less so through his involvement in Strictly Come Dancing following the Games. A full 13 week stint on the show saw him crowned champion and made 2012 a year he’ll never forget, which has established him as one of the country’s most recognised and celebrated athletes and personalities.
Having taken some time out of the sport, Louis came back with a bang with Gold & Bronze at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and most recently a European Championship Gold medal in April has set him well on his journey to the Rio Olympics in 2016 and beyond.
On November 8th, 2018, Louis announced his retirement from competitive gymnastics after 25 years in the sport.
"Everyone was so inspired by Louis. The comments from both staff and students were so pleasing to hear."
David Talbert, Head of Computer Science, Highgate Wood School
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