Louis Smith: I’ve got a lot of medals but winning Strictly is one of the better things I’ve done

“There’s been less people win Strictly than there has Olympic medals,” says the British gymnast, who took home the glitterball in 2012

Gymnast Louis Smith may have three Olympic medals to his name, but it’s the Strictly Come Dancing glitterball he won in 2012 that the athlete says is “rare”.

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“There’s been less people win Strictly than there has Olympic medals, so Strictly’s quite rare,” Smith told the Mirror.

“I’ve won a lot of medals in the past, but that achievement is definitely one of the better things I’ve done,” he added, talking of his victory with professional dancer Flavia Cacace.

As well as an impressive amount of Commonwealth, European and World Championship silverware, Smith holds three Olympic medals from his work on the pommel horse: a bronze from 2008’s Beijing games, plus an individual silver and a bronze as part of the British team at London 2012.

But – according to Smith – that’s nothing compared to the world of glitter. You see, the athlete is actually part of an exclusive club of celebrities who’ve won Strictly more than once, joining the likes of twinkle-toed Darren Gough and Jill Halpenny. After his 2012 victory, he returned to win the Christmas Special in 2014. It doesn’t mean he got his hands on another glitterball, mind. Although a glittery star-shaped trophy is close enough, right?

The 26-year-old is all for a bit of change on the dance floor this year, supporting the idea of a same-sex couple.

“I don’t see anything wrong with that. Ballroom dancing has rules – like you can’t do lifts in the waltz unless it’s an American Smooth – and things like that. You get penalised. And I don’t know what the rules are in the ballroom world about that sort of thing. But if it’s allowed, why not? Mix it up a bit.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 this Autumn

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Like dancing? Why not come for a ballroom dance masterclass with Robin Windsor at the Radio Times Festival