Fans queue to sign up for Louis Smith’s story so far.
Local hero, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith headed home to sign copies of his new book and ESP’s Mikey Clarke was there to grab a word…
I’m happy to say that I am one of Louis Smith’s 214,000 Twitter followers.
Whilst flicking through his Twitter account, I was amazed by the cheek of another Twitter user questioning whether Louis was worthy of his MBE. The local celeb replied, ‘I trained for 20 years, represented GB for 12 years, won 7 European medals, 3 world champion medals and 3 Olympic medals’. Well said Louis. If that doesn’t deserve an MBE, I don’t know what does.
And let’s not forget what else Louis has been up to recently. The local star was crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing with his partner Flavia, and is now setting his sights on designing his own clothing range. Despite being only 24, you can’t argue that Louis has done a lot with his life already. It’s therefore no surprise that he’s released a book on his journey.
I caught up with the Olympic gymnast to discuss ‘My Story So Far’ during his book signing at Tesco, Serpentine Green in Hampton where his local fans were eager to grab a signed copy from the man himself.
Louis described his book as – “An honest look at my life. I’ve made some great decisions but I’ve also made bad ones. There have been ups and downs, which is all in the book. I feel honoured to be able to tell the story of how I got to where I am today.”
One thing mentioned in the book is how Louis once said “No” to the Queen. He laughed – “I did, but I had my reasons. All the Olympic medal winners got to meet the Queen. When it was my turn I explained that I was a gymnast and she asked if I could show her something. I said no. Not only was I nervous about meeting someone like the Queen, but I knew there wasn’t much I could have done in my suit anyway.”
There are some striking photos in the book which should please his fans, especially his female supporters, but he’s also bravely included several shots from his childhood including one of him sporting the biggest Afro ever!
You may have seen the Strictly winner on TV show The Cube recently. Louis won £50,000 for Huntingdon’s Gymnastics’ Club. “Being on that show was actually the most stressful thing I’ve done in my life,” he told me. “It was more stressful because I knew the money was going to other people and not me. If it was my own money I’d have gambled more and tried to get further.”
Alongside the book signing tour, Louis will be busy during the next couple of months with the Louis Smith Summer Gymnastic Camp in Huntingdon. This scheme will see gymnastics of novice and basic level (aged 8-14) taking master classes and extra-curricular activities including a BBQ, Swim Trip and Field Games. For more information or to book your place, visit www.gseagency.com/summercamp
Louis explained – “Who knows what will happen after that. I don’t know if I’ll be participating in the next Olympics but you never know. I’m also in talks with people for a couple of television opportunities. Watch this space…”
Louis will be making a return to his roots, signing copies at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club where he’s trained for years, on July 15 between 6pm and 9pm see www.huntingdon-gymnastics.org
Keep checking www.espmag.co.uk for regular updates on our local celebrity. And for a more in-depth look at his past, check out ‘My Life So Far’ – out now through Orion RRP £16.99 hardback and £8.99 ebook.
Photos: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine