Louis Smith is retiring from gymnastics and starting a new career on the West End.
Louis Smith is retiring from gymnastics.
The 29-year-old Olympic medalist has announced he's leaving the competitive sport to embark on a career in theatre, with his touring show 'Rip It Up' heading for the West End.
The former 'Strictly Come Dancing' winner was planning on entering the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but he has now decided to call it a day as he feels his chances of qualifying would be slim.
Appearing on UK TV show 'Lorraine' on Thursday morning (08.11.8), he said: ''I think I'm a baby in the grand scheme of things but in the sporting world, I'm getting on a little bit.
''It was a tough decision. Last year, I had the mindset that given the time around now, I was going get back into training and push for 2020.
''The whole qualification process has changed there was a minuscule chance I would even qualify.
''I thought I would give it a chance.
''Then new opportunities come up and you have to make smart life choices, I can't keep putting on a leotard!''
Louis - who first came to prominence at the 2006 Commonwealth Games - admitted it hadn't been an easy ride but he's proud of his achievements - which includes winning a bronze and two silver medals on the pommel horse at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics respectively - and thanked his coach and family for their support over the years.
He continued: ''Three Olympic Games, four medals, it's been a hard career, but it's been a very fun one and very rewarding. I wouldn't have made it if it hadn't been for my coach, my mum, my friends.''
Louis said that being a gymnast helped him stay focused through a difficult childhood, which saw him battle ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
He said: ''I struggled quite badly with ADHD as a child. I didn't do very well in school, a short attention span, that combined with a single parent mum, growing up in a rough area, it could have been a lot different.''
Despite putting an end to his Olympic career, Louis will keep his toe in gymnastics by continuing to help young children achieve their dreams at the summer camps he runs.
He said: ''I would love to stay involved in gymnastics, I have gymnastic summer camps that I do every year, I put camps on for kids.
''I go down I give them a bit of coaching and interact with them and I do school visits ... I try and get kids into sport.''
Louis admitted he feels ''very liberated'', and even joked he was ready for a beer as he made the announcement on the early morning show.
He said: ''I feel very liberated now. It's a strange feeling every athlete wonders when this day will come and this is what it feels like! I might go for a beer, it's only early, but nothing stopping me now!''
Watch 'Lorraine' ITV, weekdays 8.30am to 9.25am.
Up-and-coming British singer-songwriter Alice Chater unveils her brand new single 'Hourglass'.
With a fourth solo album having just dropped and his 50th birthday celebrations behind him, John Grant kicked off the UK leg of his latest tour in...
Tristan Corrigan on the difficulties of making music within a genre that is so popular.
They've just announced their 2019 70-date world tour and they've dropped a new single and video just to get fans even more excited.
Paloma Faith tests her aim in the video for her new single 'Loyal', directed by Jamie Travis, ahead of the release of album 'The Architect: Zeitgeist...
Seven months after the release of his second album 'Staying At Tamara's', George Ezra unveils the video to his newest single 'Hold My Girl'.
After teaming up with Benny Blanco and Khalid on the song 'Eastside' earlier this year, Halsey returns with her newest single 'Without Me'.
Kesha's latest single is 'Here Comes The Change' from the soundtrack of an important new biographical drama entitled 'On the Basis of Sex'.
From their newest EP 'What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way', Nothing But Thieves drop the lyric video for their single 'Take This Lonely...
The Lumineers honour their friend and hero Tom Petty with a sensational cover of his 1996 song 'Walls' from the 'She's the One' soundtrack.
Watch Olly Murs get his nerd on as he blags his way into an exclusive Snoop Dogg party (where Rowan Atkinson is the bartender) in the video for their...
From 'Happy' to 'Banana Pancakes', these are soaked in positivity.
Mariah Carey is the picture of glamour in the black and white video for her brand new single 'With You'. It's the lead single from her forthcoming...
Eminem draws attention to the negative response his 2017 album 'Revival' received in the video for his latest song 'Venom'; a song recorded for the...
With the recent release of her third, very well received album 'Hunter' just behind her, Anna had plenty of relatively new songs to showcase.