Louis Smith: British Gymnast
2011 - 2013
Louis Smith is a retired British artistic gymnast.This was his website from approximately 2011 - 2013
The new owners of this domain are fans of Smith and wanted to keep at least some of the content and images from the site visible on the WWW.
Content is from the site's 2011 - 2013 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
Louis Smith received a bronze medal and two silver medals on the pommel horse at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics respectively with the former marking the first time a British gymnast had placed in an Olympic event since 1928. ] He fell just short of gold in 2012, tying with Kristian Berki, but taking silver for a lower E or execution score. He followed this up with a second consecutive silver medal on the pommel horse at the 2016 Rio Olympics, this time finishing behind teammate, and 2012 bronze medalist, Max Whitlock.
Smith was also part of the Great Britain team that took the bronze in the men's artistic team all-around at the 2012 London Olympics. He is the only British gymnast to win Olympic medals in three separate Games, and only the second gymnast after Marius Urzică to win three successive Olympic pommel horse medals. A 2006 Commonwealth Games champion representing England in the pommel horse, in 2015 he became European champion, his first major international title representing Great Britain.
Gymnastics in this country needs a face. It's not the most popular sport, everyone's focused on football, but everyone loves us when we're on TV
Welcome to my website! This is basically your one stop shop for everything you could want to know about me!
2 years ago my life was turned upside down when 15 years of hard work and preparation all paid off as I managed to pommel my way to a bronze medal at the Olympics in Beijing. Although it was a dream come true, I’ve got an even bigger dream now, which is to end up on the podium again in front of my home crowd in 2012.
So if you want to follow me on my journey, experience the highs and lows with me and get a real-life, behind the scenes look at what it really means to be an Olympic gymnast, this is the place to do it!
Stay tuned here to find out what I’m up to, get the latest pictures from everything I’m doing and if you’re very lucky, you might even get to hear some of the latest tunes I’ve been working on :-p.
For now, enjoy the site, sign up for my newsletter, even drop me a message on Facebook!
All the best, Louis Smith
An aside: I remember watching Louis Smith at the 2012 London Olympics. We were at a fabulous Aina Nalu rental in Lahaina on Maui for a long awaited vacation. My partner was a former gymnast, not Olympic level, but Level Ten in high school as well as a college gymnastic team member at the University of Michigan. So we watched the gymnastics at 2012 Olympics whenever it was on. It was heartbreaking when Louis Smith controversially missed out on gold on the on pommel horse due to a tiebreak. Although Louis Smith scored the same overall as the winner, Hungary's double world champion Krisztian Berki, a lower execution score meant he took the silver in the tie break. Whenever we reminisce about our vacation on Maui my partner always talks about the Olympics. I on the other hand talk about our hike down from the top of Haleakalā, after watching the sunrise, or our numerous snorkeling adventures. We had been told that Maluaka Beach was one of the best places to find Hawaiian green sea turtles in Maui and so we took a day trip to Wailea-Makena. I wish the beach was closer since I would have gone there everyday, but it was an hour+ (depending on traffic) from our rental in Lahaina. We also did the Hana Road staying overnight in Hana before heading back the next day. There were some great hikes to waterfalls from the road. Oh my, talk about a twisting, turning road. But the views were fantastic and well worth the time. The 2019 summer Olympics are fast approaching. It was shocking to learn that the Soviet Union is banned from them as a country because of doping. Hopefully some of their gymnasts will be able to compete under a neutral flag. You can be sure we will be watching, but not from Maui!
I wouldn't say I'm cocky but, in a sport like gymnastics, you have to come across as confident
- Age: 23
- D.O.B. 22/4/1989
- Height: 1.79m
- Weight: 76kg
- Home Town: Peterborough
- Club: Huntingdon Gymnastics Club
- Coach: Paul Hall
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.
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
MY TRAINING SCHEDULE
The spirit is high in the GB camp, everyone’s friends and family are coming to support them so everyone is eager to get out there and prove to everyone that British Gymnastics is great.
Being a professional athlete isn’t easy. Like with any job, you have to put the hours in and have the dedication necessary to be the best that you can be. Myself and the rest of my training group work hard in the gym every day so that we can realise our dreams of success at the highest level. Here’s a little insight into what we get up to during a typical day of training and the things we’re doing to stay in world class shape in the lead up to the Olympics in 2012....
This will normally take an hour. It will involve loosening up, stretching and general physical conditioning. I use my own bodyweight as a general rule for conditioning and only very occasionally do I work with free weights.
I do two or three apparatus sessions covering elements and combinations. This will typically include routines that I am practicing for upcoming tournaments.
I will rest my body, eat lunch and take on plenty of liquids. Utilising Lucozade Sport drinks and the rest o their nutritional range allow my body to adapt quickly and effectively in response to the demands I am constantly putting on it. I eat sensibly and ensure I have a balanced diet.
I’ll cover the other apparatus and work on specific conditioning for rings and individual elements.
Three common exercises are: The handstand and working around it with elements such as press ups and lifts to a final position, mid body exercises to strengthen the core and develop correct posture, and circuits on the rings involving the cross position to increase maximal strength.
The sessions are designed to increase flexibility and to prepare the body through both general and specific strength training circuits.
I also develop power for the dynamic events such as floor and vault, as well as maximum isometric strength for the held positions on the rings.
The object is to do enough repetitions to make any performance consistent.
I think the best bit of training advice I can give is to remember that your body will adapt to the demands that you put on it - work hard and the results will come.
Look at the big picture and don’t get down if one session is bad – the important thing is just to keep going and be positive.
Remember it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a professional athlete and an Olympian. However everyone has to start somewhere and if you focus on what you want to achieve then you have every right to aim for the stars!
The main thing is to stay fit and healthy. Set yourself clear, achievable goals and go for them. Success comes with hard work, discipline and self-motivation. I’ve achieved some great successes in my career already but there’s so much more I both want and believe I can achieve by applying myself to it. Here’s to you doing the same...
I'm fortunate to have some great sponsors backing me on my journey. The support that they give me goes a hell of a long way to helping me realise my ambitions in my sport.
Without each of them I wouldn't be where I am today so take your time to check each of them out! Being involved with them has also given me the opportunity to be involved in some pretty cool advertising campaigns and other bits of activity, so make sure you look out for it!
Without the support I've received I wouldn't be anywhere. The people around me have got me to where I am today.
LOUIS SMITH MY INTERESTS
- Gymnastics - I have been doing it since I was 4 years old
- Singing - I once auditioned for the X factor and was the lead singer for Sport Relief
- Playstation 3 - especially Call of Duty
- Fashion - after gymnastics I would love to start my own fashion brand
- Watching movies - passes the time when away competing
- Watching my country play sport - come on England
The spirit is high in the GB camp, everyone’s friends and family are coming to support them so everyone is eager to get out there and prove to everyone that British Gymnastics is great.
LOUIS SMITH MY FAVORITES
- TV programme – Heroes
- Film – Transformers
- Magazines – GQ, Men’s Health
- Music – Reggae
- Food – Chicken, rice and peas
2012 NEWS 2013
Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013
Louis joined Jack Whitehall onstage at London’s O2 Arena to present international rock band Coldplay with a Brit Award for ‘Best Live Act’.
At the star studded event, the Camden superstars beat off competition from fellow nominees Muse, The Rolling Stones, The Vaccines and Mumford & Sons to secure the prestigious award.
The Olympic medallist drew plaudits for his outfit (suit by Sand, shirt by Staunton Moods) as well as for his routine with Jack, making his way into GQ Magazine’s shortlist for the Brits’ best dressed men
Speaking after the show, he told the press: “I don’t get to see a lot of live music, I spent most of my time in the gym listening to the radio but I think anyone can appreciate great music and I think British music is at an all-time high right now.”
Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013
Louis has teamed up with the guys at Danone to help promote their new super thick, super tasty yoghurt, Danio.
Danio is high in protein and low in fat and perfect for people with an active lifestyle like Louis. In fact, Louis always throws a Danio in his gym bag, as they make a great post-workout snack.
“It’s important to have something after you’ve trained and if, like me, you live forty minutes away, you’re not getting your nutrients in your body as quickly as possible,” he told the press at the launch event.
Saturday, 29 Dec 2012
Louis has been appointed MBE in the New Year Honours for services to gymnastics.
The honour capped a remarkable 2012 for Louis, having been crowned a European Champion, becoming a Silver and Bronze medallist at London 2012 and winning ‘Strictly’.
Speaking to the BBC he said “To receive this honour is out of this world and something I never would have dreamt of as I grew up in the sport of gymnastics”, adding that the MBE was “without a doubt the proudest moment of my life”.
Louis’ coach at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club, Paul Hall was also recognised in the honours list with an MBE for his services to gymnastics and the London Games.
Monday, 24 Dec 2012
Louis has added another title to his trophy cabinet after dancing his way to victory in the final of the 2012 season of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
A peak audience of 14 million people tuned in to see bookies favourite Louis and his dance partner Flavia Cacace beat Kimberley Walsh and Denise Van Outen to claim the Glitterball Trophy. On the night, Louis showcased his gymnastic talents over three dance routines, scoring a near perfect 79 out of 80 to top the leader board after his first two dances, the Charleston and the Salsa. For his final performance, the Olympic Silver medallist did not disappoint, with a flawless show dance set to Take That’s Rule The World. Praising the dance, judge Len Goodman said “if this show goes on for another 20 years I don’t think we see another showdance as magical as that”.
After the win, a thrilled Louis joked “I can finally say I won something in the year 2012!” Louis is going to celebrate the win by breaking his diet and taking a good rest, having been worked frenetically since the London Games. "I can't wait to have a drink of mulled wine, eat sausage rolls. I might order a Chinese on Christmas Eve" he told reporters.
Monday, 10 Sep 2012
It has today been announced that Louis will appear on this year's hit BBC show 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
Following his historical success at the London Olympics, Louis will now take to the dance floor every Saturday night in an attempt to fend off his celebrity competitors in a shot for the glitterball.
The launch show will take place later this month before the weekly shows kick off in early October.
Watch this space!!
MY FAVORITE RECIPES
Due to my Jamaican roots, I can whip up a decent meal in the kitchen. Here’s a couple of my recipes. I learnt from the best – my mum!
Jamacan Jerk Chicken
A Local Favorite
- 2 Tbsp Ground Allspice
- 2 Tbsp Dried Thyme
- 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Ground Sage
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Cooking Oil
- ½ Cup Soy Sauce
- 1 Cup White Vinegar
- 6 Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 2 Onions
Step 1: Whack into a bowl the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, salt, garlic and sugar
Step 2: Give it a good stir and shake so they are all mixed in together
Step 3: Then add the liquids - cooking oil, soya sauce and the vinegar
Step 4: Now its time for the finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper and onion
Step 5: Put some elbow grease into it by giving it a good stir
Step 6: Coat the chicken in the sauce
Step 7: Give it an hour to marinate and then grill it in all its glory
Step 8: This dish is best served with rice and peas
Jamacan Fruit Cake
With Plenty of Rum
- 3 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar (brown)
- 2 cups butter
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 dozen eggs.
- 1/2 lb. mixed fruits
- 1/2 lb. raisins
- 2 tbsp. rum
- 1/2 c. wine
- 1/2 c. molasses
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. mixed spice
Step 1: The fruits need to be boiled in the wine
Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar
Step 3: Beat the eggs until your arm aches - the mixture should be light and fluffy
Step 4: Add the eggs into the butter and sugar
Step 5: Sift the flour (one cup at a time)
Step 6: Put in the baking powder and salt
Step 7: Stir in the fruits, mixed spice, vanilla, rum, wine and molasses until the paste runs smooth
Step 8: Grease up a baking tray and add the mixture
Step 9: Now whack it in the oven and cook on a medium heat until it is properly baked
Starbucks Cafe Mocha
5 Simple Steps to Heaven
Step 1: Find the nearest Starbucks (there are 17,133 stores in 49 countries) so it shouldn’t be far!
Step 2: Walk in and queue up to order
Step 3: Ask the staff member for a Café Mocha – make sure it’s a Venti!
Step 4: Wait for your Café Mocha to be made
Step 5: Sit down and enjoy the delights of the best coffee in the world!
Louis Smith swagger could earn gymnastics gold at London 2012
12 Jan 2012 | www.bbc.com/
In the second of a weekly series profiling leading British Olympic hopes in the build-up to the Games, BBC Olympic sports reporter Ollie Williams speaks to gymnast Louis Smith.
Louis Smith gets away with things other gymnasts can't.
He has the Olympic poster-boy looks, a confident swagger and the most difficult routine in the world. He is the face, ringleader and heartbeat of the Great Britain team.
Will any of that help him deliver a medal in London this summer?
It became more likely when Smith and his team-mates went to Tuesday's nerve-wracking Olympic test event at the O2 Arena in London and secured space for a full five-man GB team at the Games.
Smith, 22, has already enjoyed success at the highest level. He became the first British man to win an Olympic gymnastics medal for a century when he won bronze on his specialist piece of apparatus, the pommel horse, in Beijing four years ago.
But his hair, the words he uses and his demeanour set him apart as much as his moves on the pommels. This is by design. Smith wants you to understand he is unique in a sport known for conformity.
"Gymnastics is about visuals, what you look like," he says the morning after winning those Olympic places. "Everyone is the same, the same hairstyle. I like to be different."
Smith has had four hours' sleep. The press adore an unusually expressive athlete and Smith likes talking, so by the time he had extricated himself from the venue - and stopped at a Chinese takeaway next door to his hotel, the only food still on offer - it was 2am.
Before 7am he was back inside the arena, live on breakfast television, but this has been his life for years and the Louis Smith look is as neatly groomed as ever.
"I'm outgoing, I'm an extrovert," he adds. "I like to change things up a bit. My barber that I go to in Peterborough [Smith's home town], he looks after me. We throw a few ideas around."
While the hair may change, Smith has a constant reminder tattooed on his back. "What I deserve I earn," it reads above a large image of a winged cross.
"I am religious," he says. "I went to Sunday school, I believe in God - I think I'd be too scared not to. I definitely feel like there's someone looking over me.
"Before I do my pommel-horse routine, I talk to a few people in my head. I say a few words to Nan. It sounds silly, but it's what I do. And then I give it my best shot."
Smith's grandmother passed away just before he appeared at the 2009 World Championships, also staged in London. By then, the younger Smith had already pronounced "gymnastics in this country needs a face", but he tried too hard to be that face, on and off the apparatus. Confidence became cockiness, assurance verged on arrogance.
In the wake of his grandmother's death, and a humbling fall in that year's world final, a new mantra took over.
"I've changed drastically," he says now. "That was my first major competition after the Beijing Olympics. I was young, it was the first time I'd really felt expectation.
"I went in thinking 'I need to win this, everyone keeps asking me if I'm going to win'. And I buckled. It goes to show you can't go in thinking you need to win; a gymnast needs to be cool, calm, treat it like a training session."
There have been more high-profile falls since, but successes too - silver medals at world and European level and pommel horse bronze at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo, where a heroic attempt to pull off the world's hardest routine met with failure only in the final seconds.
Smith's prominence may seem odd, given his team-mates compete on all six pieces of apparatus, compared to his one. However, he believes his role in the team transcends his own results.
"I've learned to respect each competition but have fun with it, and I bring a more relaxed approach to the team. I think if I wasn't here, the emotions would get on top of everyone," he says.
"I do a good job of cracking a joke when I need to, taking the mick and letting the team feel like, 'Ah, Louis is still relaxed and having fun, so it's not such a big competition'. I try to trick them a little bit.
"I've been performing in British gymnastics for a long time now, at the top. A lot of these guys, I hope, look up to me."
Team-mate Dan Keatings, who trains alongside Smith in Huntingdon, certainly does.
Keatings won the all-around world silver medal in 2009 and yet has never quite nudged one-piece wonder Smith (who can in fact perform all six if required) off centre-stage. Keatings is not concerned. Speaking after his success two years ago, he said: "It's helped me, Louis taking the limelight. Just being alongside him is a good thing."
Nothing has changed two years later. The pair laughed and joked their way around the Olympic test event, in spite of the tension and the nerves to which Keatings confessed beforehand.
Smith will need his team-mates as much as they need Smith at London 2012. For all his media-savvy front and considerable experience, Smith - a one-time X Factor hopeful - has only one chance to prove Britain's got gymnastics talent this summer.
Standing in his way is Hungarian Krisztian Berki, world champion for the past two years. Berki does the easier routines better than Smith, so Smith's recourse is to try much harder routines which carry a greater risk of outright failure.
"It's crazy, the amount of difficulty we can put in," Smith says of the work he and coach Paul Hall have done to maximise the marks he can score.
"But it's about managing that, preparing in the right way and being able to get through that routine. I'm 22, I'm young, but I've been around the block. I've done a load of routines and made a few mistakes in the past.
"Hopefully all this experience, all the years I've been training, will gather into me doing a good routine."