Gymnastics: Great Britain star Louis Smith announces retirement…

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Great Britain gymnast Louis Smith

Two-time Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith has announced his retirement from gymnastics at the age of 29.

Peterborough-born Smith has represented Great Britain at three Olympic Games and won two bronze medals at that level between 2008 and 2016.

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

Before retirement, Smith had announced his intentions to return to training in order to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but changed his mind due to qualification changes and new ‘exciting opportunities’.

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Louis Smith competes on the pommel horse at London 2012

His bronze at the 2008 Games in Beijing saw him not only win Britain’s first Olympic gymnastics medal since 1928, but become the first man to achieve an individual medal since 1908.

Smith’s glittering career hasn’t been with it controversies though. He was given a two-month ban in November 2016 by British Gymnastics for a video in which he appeared to mock Islam. Smith apologised for his ‘thoughtless actions’.

Away from the gym, Smith is set to star in musical Rip It Up on London’s West End in February, and won Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner Flavia Cacace in 2012.

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Gymnast Louis Smith won the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing. Here he is pictured with dance partner Flavia Cacace

Smith’s former Great Britain team-mate Dan Keatings paid tribute to the star, saying:”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.”

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