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All that glitters is not gold, says Olympian and ex-Strictly winner Louis Smith

Published 20/08/2015

Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith after they won the Strictly Come Dancing in 2012
Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith after they won the Strictly Come Dancing in 2012
Louis Smith on a pommel horse

Former Strictly Come Dancing champion Louis Smith thinks a glitterball trophy is more valuable than an Olympic medal.

The 26-year-old gymnast won silver and bronze on the pommel horse for Britain at the 2012 Olympics, and went on to win the BBC dancing contest later that year, as well as the 2014 Christmas Special.

Smith said: "I've won a lot of medals in the past, but that achievement is definitely one of the better things I' ve done. Nothing will come close to the Olympic Games but winning Strictly, that's quite an achievement.

"There's been less people win Strictly than there has Olympic medals, so Strictly's quite rare."

Smith also waded into the same sex-couple debate. There have been rumours that this year could see the first same-sex pairing on the BBC dance competition, but former Strictly star James Jordan has branded the idea "a joke" as it is against professional ballroom dancing rules.

Smith said: "I don't see nothing wrong with that. Ballroom dancing has rules - like you can't do lifts in the waltz unless its an American Smooth, and things like that, and you get penalised. And I don't know what the rules are in the ballroom world about that sort of thing.

"But if it's allowed, why not? Mix it up a little bit!"

Smith has been showing off his muscles this week on Brighton beach, helping to launch O2's GuyFi service, which is bringing free WiFi to the beaches of Britain using O2 Pocket Hotspots.

The Olympic-medallist admitted he loved British beaches, but his girlfriend, The Only Way Is Essex star Lucy Mecklenburgh, had been complaining he had not taken her away somewhere more exotic on holiday this year.

He said: "We had four days in Palma. Four days is a luxury to me, but for some people that doesn't count as a holiday. I call it a holiday, but she doesn't. She says she wants to go away again because she hasn't really been away this year.

"So I've had a holiday, but Lucy hasn't. Anywhere where there's sun and beach, a pool and a nice cocktail, I think she'd be happy."

The gymnast also admitted he and reality star Mecklenburgh did not spend as much time together as he would like, because of work commitments.

He revealed: "We definitely don't get to see as much of each other as we'd like. Monday to Friday I'm training, the only time we get to see each other is at the weekends. And not every weekend - sometimes she's busy, she's got work on.

"So it is quite hard, it is quite tough, but it's pretty much the only problem that we have in our relationship, so it's not that bad."

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