Learned the hard way Strictly winner Louis Smith got rude awakening from partner Flavia

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Olympic gymnast Louis Smith, 33, danced to victory when he competed on the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing. He was partnered with Italian professional, Flavia Cacace, 42, and the pair delighted both the fans and judges with notable performances to Rule The World and (I’ve Had) the Time Of My Life.

Despite winning the Glitterball trophy, Louis confessed that his Strictly journey wasn’t always plain sailing.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Louis said: “[Before the show] I liked to dance and have fun. 

“I had no training but I thought, I’ve got a little bit of rhythm and I’ve got obviously all the knowledge that I have taken from gymnastics.

“But it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

“I thought I would just be running around the dance floor with no real technique, and I learned the hard way that it is extremely difficult.”

Louis took on the show straight off the back of his success at the London Olympics in 2012.

Louis won the silver medal in the men’s pommel horse final and Team GB secured bronze in the men’s artistic final.

After just two weeks, Louis then began rehearsals for Strictly.

He recalled: “I had just finished the 2012 Olympics and I had about two weeks off and then I went into Strictly.

“Within the first hour, I was laying on the floor with my ankles and heels in bits wearing Cuban heels.

“Flavia was just kind of looking over at me thinking, ‘How can you call yourself an Olympian?’

“So yeah, it really was a completely different type of energy that you had to use and a different type of fitness.

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“I was using muscles that I had never used before and it was extreme, it was a real eye opener and extremely difficult.” 

Nevertheless, the experience did not lessen Louis’ love of fitness and he recently teamed up with Tu Clothing at Sainsbury’s to discover whether their clothing is suitable for those with active lifestyles. 
 
To test the durability of their school uniforms, Louis put the garments to the test in the Playground Games. 
 
On why he got involved, he said: “It showed that their school clothes are really well made and they will stand the test of time. And they come with a 150-day guarantee which is quite unheard of. 

“We had a fantastic day. All the kids really enjoyed themselves and I think we showed just how fantastic Tu Clothing really is.   
 
“We were getting them to hang upside down, we were doing long jump, triple jump, cart wheels, racing, knee slides, we were really kind of putting the school uniform through the paces. 
 
“I’m happy to say as well that there was not one rip, not one hole or snag and no kids went away crying either!” 
 
Louis Smith teamed up with Tu to help parents see why Tu’s uniform gets gold for durability at the ‘The Ultimate Playground Games. 

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