Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Olympic gymnast proud of honour

Olympic gymnast Louis Smith has been made an MBE

Olympic medallist-turned-Strictly Come Dancing champion Louis Smith described his MBE as "without a doubt the proudest moment of my life".

The Peterborough gymnast was a member of Britain's surprise bronze medal success in the men's team competition at the London 2012 Olympics.

He also won silver on the pommel horse with one of the hardest routines in the world.

"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," said Smith, 23.

"This year has been like no other for so many reasons.

"For me it's obviously one I'll never forget and I wasn't sure it could get any better but to be awarded an MBE is the icing on the cake and without a doubt the proudest moment of my life."

The bronze medal he won on the pommel horse in Beijing 2008 made Smith the first British male gymnast to win an Olympic medal since Walter Tysall at London 1908.

His medal triggered an amazing effect within British gymnastics which has helped make the team, both senior and junior, a force to reckon with.

He said: "I'm honoured to be alongside so many other incredible sportspeople on the list. I just hope this acts as even more inspiration for future generations within sport in this country, further continuing the Olympic legacy.

"As always my thanks has to go out to the British public for the unrelenting support throughout 2012 and in the years leading up to the Olympic Games. None of this would have been possible without it. What a year."

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