It’s funny isn’t it, we came third on the Medal Table, we won a unprecidented 29 Golds, Yorkshire’s success was noted as far afield as Australia, even Leeds achieved 2 Golds, a Silver and a Bronze thanks to the superhuman efforts of Nicola Adams, the Brownlee brothers and Lizzie Armitstead, and yet it is the silver medal won by Louis Smith, and the extraordinary graciousness he displayed to Krisztian Berki, after he was pipped a Gold Medal by the narrowest of margins that I want to celebrate the most.
When you have dedicated your whole life to a goal, to have the prize taken from you despite you both having the same score, despite you performing the harder routine, and yet to be magnanimous enough to go straight over and congratulate your opponent. Well that is the very best of British isn’t it?
I would have been screaming and crying and demanding a recount and generally tantruming on such an epic scale I would never have been able to show my face to my family again, never mind the watching world!
And yet Louis Smith went straight over to Berki and hugged and congratulated him and spoke to the media and said he was a friend and he was pleased for him. In all subsequent interviews I have seen he has been just as gracious and articulate, proud of his achievements and without a trace of bitterness. I have to keep reminding myself as well that this is not some wise old sage who has been matured by the highs and lows of a long and eventful life but a 23 year old from Peterborough. The level of maturity from not just him but all the Team GB have been astonishing and rather humbling.
I know the legacy of the London 2012 to inspire the next generation into a lifetime of sport and fitness but I could definitely learn a lot from Louis Smith on how to conduct myself! Oh and if being “handsome and cool” as The Times said of him yesterday wasn’t enough, he can cook too, his recipe for Jerk Chicken is well worth trying out too. It’s so good it’s become my 10 year old son’s favourite dish. An accolade I don’t think Krisztian Berki is going to snatch away any time soon!