You can’t trust the things you read these days.
Three-time Olympic medalist Louis Smith of Great Britain is moving on from gymnastics, according to an interview with Smith published Sunday in Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper.
But to his fans who exclaim: “Say it isn’t so, Louis!” here’s some succor: It isn’t so. Shortly after the article surfaced, Smith tweeted: “Ok just to clear up all the google alerts I’ve had. I haven’t retired to become a fashion designer lol..”
Smith, who broke a 100-year medal drought in men’s gymnastics for Britain with his bronze on pommel horse at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has become one of the faces of men’s gymnastics during the past four years.
He withstood the pressure of being a specialist (which led to questions about his place on the especially strong British men’s team), a spokesman for his sport and a leader of the British team during the “home” Olympics in London last year.
He helped guide the young British team to bronze in the team final and came through with a second medal — silver this time — for himself on pommels, tying for the top score with Hungary’s Krisztian Berki but losing the gold due to the controversial tiebreaking procedure in event finals.
Since the Games, he’s taken full advantage of his fame, appearing (and winning) on British reality TV show Strictly Come Dancing, as well as launching his autobiography, “Louis: My Story So Far,” which came out last week.
With gymnastics no longer his top priority, Smith told The Mirror he hopes to launch a fashion line. “I am over the moon with everything I have achieved in the sport. And I think it is best that I go out on top and don’t become a has been,” he said, according to the newspaper.
“A fashion line will hopefully be on the way. It’s something I’m very passionate about and I’d love to see my own clothes out there.”
Even during the post-meet press conference in London, Smith hedged on his future in gymnastics, saying that teammates like Olympic pommel horse bronze medalist Max Whitlock would probably eventually push him off the team. Along with China and Croatia, Great Britain has one of the best men’s pommel teams in the world, with Smith, Whitlock and Daniel Keatings as medal threats in any competition anywhere.
While Smith didn’t address the idea of whether or not he was interested in a career in fashion, I can see it. Check out the photo gallery of his quirky style above, or just click here.
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