Lansdowne College

Media Elements

Media Elements

Get to know Louis

I wouldn't say I'm cocky but, in a sport like gymnastics, you have to come across as confident

Louis Smith

Louis Smith Stats

Value Title
2
Medals, Gold and Silver at the Commonwealth Games
3
Olympic Medals

Vital Stats

  • Age: 23
  • D.O.B. 22/4/1989
  • Height: 1.79m
  • Weight: 76kg
  • Home Town: Peterborough
  • Club: Huntingdon Gymnastics Club
  • Coach: Paul Hall


History

  

With 3 Olympic medals to his name, Louis Smith secured the title of Britain’s greatest ever gymnast following his flawless performances in front of his home crowd at the London 2012 Olympics.

Louis grew up in Eye, Peterborough and began his love affair with Gymnastics at the age of 4. Suffering with severe ADHD as a child, his mum Elaine had taken him to try a variety of sports over a number of years giving him the opportunity to release his energy. It was Gymnastics that captured his mind and 3 years after his entry into the sport he began training at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club, travelling over an hour each day with his mum on public transport to receive the expert coaching there. 

Under the guidance of his coach Paul Hall, who is still his coach today, Louis began to excel in the sport and at the age of 15 secured his first major international title, becoming Junior European Champion in 2004. As if that wasn’t enough of an indication of his ability on the world stage, a Commonwealth Gold medal in 2006 put him firmly in the limelight. Just a year later and with much more expectation than he’d ever had, Louis had his first taste of the Olympic atmosphere when he beat the best of the world's elite competitors in his age group to take the pommel horse gold medal for Team GB at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, the same year in which he also won a Bronze Medal at the World Championships in Stuttgart. 

A year later came the Beijing Olympic Games and although still very much an unknown name to the majority of the British public, Louis qualified in 5th place for the final of the men’s pommel horse. Eight days later he went on to win the Bronze Medal in that final and in doing so became the first British gymnast to win a medal in the individual gymnastics at the Olympic Games since Walter Tysall won a silver medal in 1908. He was also the first Briton to win a medal in gymnastics at the Olympic Games since the women's team won a bronze medal in 1928.

Life changed overnight as Louis’ success saw him immediately being touted as one of the faces of the London Olympic Games which would take place on his home turf four years later. Then ensued a whole host of appearances on national television, constant demand from the media and an array of sponsorship deals which included appearances on national and global television adverts for the likes of Adidas, Visa, UPS, Sky and Lucozade.

Despite this, the huge build up to the London Games included a number of important major international championships, critical to the development of Louis’ career and ultimately his qualification to the team for London 2012. 

At the 2009 European Championships in Milan, a flawless routine saw Louis bring home the Silver medal. Despite a broken thumb in the lead up to the European Team Championships just 6 months later, he defeated the odds and claimed silver medal success in both the team and individual competitions. Carrying on this fine form, in 2010 he added a World Championship silver medal to his ongoing list of achievements, capping an historic week for Team GB at the event with a 2nd place finish on the pommel horse.

A year later he returned to the World Championships, this time in Tokyo. It was there, having breezed through qualification in 2nd place, that he took on the most difficult pommel routine in the world, made so technically difficult especially due to the inclusion of the ‘triple Russian’ element. Only a slight slip on the dismount stood between Louis and a gold medal on the day, but his high difficulty score still ensured he left Tokyo with a bronze medal.

From there the buzz and excitement around his potential at the Olympics a year later continued to grow, bringing with it pressure and media scrutiny like he’d never experienced before. Characteristically, he remained unfazed and just 3 months prior to the Games, he captained the British team at the European Championships where a last-gasp 1st place finish saw them become the first ever British men's team to win a European Gold Medal. With clean pommel routines in the qualification and final, Louis then went on to claim an equally impressive silver medal in the pommel horse final the following day capping a historic week for the GB team.

So the scene was set for London Olympics and the culmination of a 7 year plan which Louis embarked on from when the Games were announced back in 2005. On July 28th, the first morning of the Games, Louis, again the captain, led the team to a first place finish and subsequent qualification from their subdivision. Louis himself produced a faultless display on the pommel horse and with an outpouring of emotion following his routine he qualified in first place for the final, living up to the billing that had seen him become one of the poster boys of the Games.

The rest was history in the making. Three days later the boys returned to the North Greenwich Arena and exceeded all expectations as, leading by example with another flawless pommel horse routine, Louis captained them to Britain’s first ever men’s Olympic team medal. However the full job at the Games wasn’t done yet and on August 5th, Louis took on the hardest routine of his life in the pommel horse final in front of an expectant home crowd and with the entire country watching and willing him on. Just like his whole career up until that point, he absorbed the pressure and gave the performance of his life, securing his highest ever pommel horse score at a major international championships (16.066) and ensuring an historic silver medal, equalling the gold-medal winning score.

Achievements

 

2012, Olympic Games, London, Silver Individual, Bronze team event

2012, European Championships Gold (Team) & Silver (Individual)

2011, World Championships, Tokyo, Bronze

2010, World Championships, Rotterdam, Silver

2010, European Championships, Silver (Team & Individual)

2009, European Championships, Silver

2008, Olympic Games, Beijing, Bronze

2007, Youth Olympic Champion

2007, World Championships, Stuttgart, Bronze

2006, Junior European Champion

2006, Gold, Commonwealth Games

2004, Junior European Champion