Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Gymnast Smith enjoyed 'normal life'

Published 05/08/2014

Louis Smith said his life changed completely after he let his training regime slide
Louis Smith said his life changed completely after he let his training regime slide

Louis S mith turned into a "normal human being" after his London 2012 success, as he let his gruelling training regime slip and was able to live a little.

The 25-year-old silver medal-winning gymnast - who went on to win Strictly Come Dancing - said his life changed completely after he stepped away from the continual pressure of fine-tuning his sporting performance.

Louis, who will be seen as a judge on BBC1 celebrity gymnastic competition Tumble from this Saturday, told Radio Times magazine he was now under less pressure and is no longer dependent on sponsors.

He said: " After 2012 it was a breath of fresh air. I slept until noon, went on lads' holidays - there was a huge weight lifted from my shoulders."

Louis - who shared in a team gold for England at the Commonwealth Games last week - said: " After London 2012 I was able to be a bit more independent, live a normal life, so I did change. I'm training again because I love what I'm doing and there's a lot less pressure and risk involved.

"I also don't need 10 sponsors to fund my training, travel and medical expenses. I can cover it all myself and that has relieved the pressure a lot."

He also put on weight as he embraced his new lifestyle, admitting: "I was slowly turning into a normal human being.

"But it took me less than a month to shed it all in the end. I was weighing my food, cut my calories in half and did high-intensity interval training for three weeks, four days a week and it just dropped off. That got me into the right state to go back into proper training."

Louis - who shares judging duties with Romanian gold medal-winning gymnast Nadia Comaneci among others - said he would not be following the example of some of the panellists who had given their verdicts during his Strictly days.

"Well, none of that 'Disaaaasssterrrr, daarrrling'. It's going to be constructive criticism," he said of the programme, to be hosted by Alex Jones.

:: The full interview is in the latest edition of Radio Times, which is on sale now.

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