Louis Smith: Olympic silver medallist retires from gymnastics aged 29

Archive: Louis Smith wins European Gymnastics Championship gold

Two-time Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith has retired from gymnastics.

The 29-year-old represented Great Britain at three Olympic Games, also winning two bronze medals between 2008 and 2016.

He won three World Championship silver medals, two European golds and the 2006 Commonwealth Games pommel horse title.

"I had to make the difficult decision to hang up my leotard," said Smith, who in December 2012 was appointed MBE for services to gymnastics.

Smith, who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of seven, says he had intended to return to gymnastics training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but changed his mind due to changes in qualification criteria and new "exciting opportunities".

"Gym has given me everything," said Smith, who announced his retirement on ITV show Lorraine. "It gave me the tools necessary to channel my ADHD throughout my childhood, and as I grew up through the sport, I quickly found a purpose in life, and it has made me the person I am today.

"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."

His bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. saw him win Britain's first Olympic gymnastics medal since 1928 and become the first British man since 1908 to win an individual medal.

Smith, who is to star in musical Rip it Up on London's West End in February, won Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.

His career has not been without controversy - in November 2016 he was given a two-month ban by British Gymnastics after appearing to mock Islam in a video. Smith said he was "deeply sorry" for his "thoughtless actions".

Former GB team-mate Dan Keatings paid tribute to Smith, saying:external-link "You set the benchmark and made British gymnasts believe we can mix it with the best in the world.

"British gymnastics wouldn't be where it is now without you. You've achieved your dream winning multiple medals in all major competitions and can leave the sport with your head held high."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC