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Meet the Midland gymnasts

Louis Smith Credit: Szwarc Henri/ABACA/Press Association Images

Louis Smith: The three time Olympic Medalist lives in Peterborough. His event is the pommel horse. He says can't wait to get back out there and represent Team England

Rebecca Downie Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Rebecca Downie: Becky lives and trains in Nottingham. She's a European champion and already has two Commonwealth Games medals. She's been the British senior women's all round champion twice and is particularly strong on beam and bars. She's 22.

Mimi Isabella Cesar Credit: Chris Radburn for Glasgow 2014

Mimi Isabella Cesar: Mimi Isabella Cesar lives and trains in Birmingham. She's in the Rhythmic Gymnastics team. She's pictured here carrying the Queen's Baton through Ward End park in Birmingham

Sam Oldham Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive

Sam Oldham: Sam is from Nottingham but trains in Loughborough and Lilleshall NSC in Staffordshire. He got a high bar silver medal at the 2013 European Championships and high bar and rings bronze at the 2014 British Championships. He's also an Olympic team bronze medallist.

Kristian Thomas Credit: DIRK WAEM/Belga/Press Association Images

Kristian Thomas: Kristian is from Wolverhampton and trains there and at Lilleshall NSC in Staffordshire. He was a member of the team that won Bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games and gold at 2013 World Championship.


Louis Smith taking time to return to gymnastics

Louis Smith hinted it could be some time before he returns to competitive gymnastics after receiving his MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace today.

The 23-year-old won team bronze and pommel horse silver at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Showing off his Olympic 2012 silver medal Credit: PA

However, Smith does not appear to be in any rush to return to the gym full-time and win more accolades.

He wants to concentrate on visiting schools to encourage children to get involved in the sport.

He said: "As athletes, we have a big responsibility to keep the legacy (of the London Olympics) going. I'm starting to take a step back from the entertainment side and move into charity and school work."

He revealed the Queen said: "Here's another one to add to your collection," when presenting him with his honours award.


'Strictly' stars prepare for tomorrow's show in Birmingham

Michael Vaughan and his partner Natalie Lowe Credit: ITV News Central

'Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour 2013' starts in Birmingham tomorrow and will also be going to Nottingham next month.

Today all the stars taking part, including 2012 series winner Louis Smith from Peterborough, took to the dance floor at the NIA for rehearsals.

Strutting their stuff in preparation for tomorrow night in Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central
  1. National

Louis Smith's MBE is 'out of this world'

Louis Smith won Olympics silver in the men's pommel horse in August. Credit: PA

Olympic medallist-turned-Strictly Come Dancing champion Louis Smith described his MBE as "without a doubt the proudest moment of my life".

The Peterborough gymnast was a member of Britain's surprise bronze medal success in the men's team competition at the London 2012 Olympics.

He also won silver on the pommel horse with one of the hardest routines in the world.

"To receive this honour is out of this world and something I never would have dreamt of as I grew up in the sport of gymnastics," said Smith, 23.

  1. Anglia

Smith is Strictly king

Louis Smith at the BBC SPOTY awards earlier this month Credit: Press Association

Peterborough's Louis Smith has been crowned this year's Strictly Come Dancing champion.

The 23-year-old gymnast danced a winning Charleston with partner Flavia Cacace, beating other finalists Dani Harmer, Denise Van Outen and Kimberly Walsh.

In the summer Smith, who was the youngest competitor in this year's Strictly show, won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in London.

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