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Louis Smith defends his reaction at Rio Games: 'I just needed a minute to let that sink in'

After losing out on a gymnastics gold medal at the Rio Olympics, Louis Smith was criticised by some for having a serious case of "sour grapes". His fellow Team GB athlete Max Whitlock picked up the gold – and now 27-year-old Louis has insisted his reaction was not one of jealousy.

Appearing on ITV's This Morning, he explained: "I spent hours [that night] just trying to defend myself, when really I should have been on the phone to my mum and just enjoying it. I've been training over 20 years, with the dream that I want to be at the Olympics and an Olympic champion.


louis smith1© Photo: Rex

Louis Smith appeared on This Morning to defend his Rio reaction

"To know that you haven't got that gold medal, I just needed a minute to let that sink in. I just needed a moment."

Louis insisted that what the cameras didn't show was him congratulating Max immediately afterwards, because Team Russia had already started its routines.

louis smith2© Photo: Getty Images

He explained the cameras didn't show him congratulating Max Whitlock

He continued: "At this point there were still a couple more competitors to go, and in between routines, the cameras come down and film your reactions and then the camera went back to the ones left to go on the pummel horse. And during this time, I got myself up, went over to Max's coach and gave him a big hug, then saw Max, gave him a big hug…"

Opening up about his thoughts on the next Olympic Games, which will take place in Tokyo, Louis confessed he is of course going for gold.

"I'll be 31 then and training is tough," he explained. "You do have your days, 'Is it all worth it?' But when you go to something like the Olympic Games, representing your country, it makes it all worth it."

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