Wednesday, January 9, 2013
HUNTINGDON gymnast Louis Smith has dropped his biggest hint so far that he is unlikely to go for gold in Rio in 2016.
Since picking up silver and bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Smith has become a television celebrity, winning the BBC’s flagship show Strictly Come Dancing, and being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s new year honours list.
And on a visit to the region last week, the 23-year-old said: “My mindset is very much business orientated at the moment, I’ve got to think about my future.
“I’m only 23 but that’s getting towards the end of my career in terms of sport. That’s a fact. There are no real top level gymnasts over the age of 26. I have to be sensible and look at other options.
“I go on the Strictly Come Dancing tour at the end of February and then I’ll get back in the gym.
“My life could have gone one of two ways after the Olympics. I could have messed up and everything could have gone quiet – but it’s turned out fantastic.
“Strictly was brilliant but it will fade. The London 2012 Olympic games will never fade. I will remember them for the rest of my life and I’m sure others will. I trained 19 years for that.
“When I was younger I used to be quite scared of dying because I wanted to be remembered for something great. I wanted a five-minute package on the local news because I had done something remarkable.
“Before I’m a dancer or a celebrity, I’m an Olympian.”
However, the chances of seeing this Olympian on a pommel horse in Brazil seem slimmer than ever. Smith’s coach Paul Hall is still hopeful, though – he told The Hunts Post: “He is missing the fitness side of things and he is keeping his options open.”