The gymnast opens up about his darkest days
Louis Smith found it hard to deal with becoming a celebrity after the Beijing Olympics.
The pommel horse star – who won a bronze medal in the 2008 games – found the pressure of becoming a household name claustrophobic.
‘I got really depressed after Beijing,’ admits Louis.
‘I did well at the Olympics, woke up, and everything had completely changed.
‘Everyone knew my face in Peterborough. I couldn’t go out.
‘I only left the house to go to the gym and I really needed my own space.
‘I had to say goodbye to the last 19 years of my life.’
Louis had now adjusted to being a VIP and wants to inspire others who have athletic skills.
‘When I was growing up there weren’t any male gymnasts for me to look up to,’ he tells Weekend magazine. ‘So I have a sense of responsibility to be that person now.
‘I’m happy to be that person.’
SEE PICTURES Louis Smith and Strictly Come Dancing Stars arrive at rehearsals