A sculpture of Peterborough Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith has been unveiled at Vivacity Premier Fitness.
Vivacity has collaborated with Peterborough City Council to bring the sculpture to the centre in Hadfield Road, Hampton, as part of The Peterborough Sculpture Trust.
The sculpture, made by UK sculptor Ben Dearnley, celebrates the role Louis has played in inspiring young people to strive for sporting recognition and success since the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
Louis came second on the pommel horse in the London Games and won a bronze medal in the same discipline in Beijing.
The unveiling took place this morning (Thursday, June 25).
Louis said: “I have been lucky to have had the support of great people who saw the drive and potential in me and in having the right facilities and environment in which to focus and train effectively.
“That is why it is so important to continue investment in the sports to ensure that the younger generation have the support and opportunity to pursue a career in this area as I have done.
“Hopefully this sculpture will serve as a reminder that opportunity is out there and what can be achieved if you believe in yourself and pursue it.”
Shelagh Smith, Vivacity chair, said, “We are really pleased to have this sculpture on display. The location here at Vivacity Premier Fitness will enable many people to see this piece, respond to it, and engage with it.
“We hope the sculpture will act as a strong catalyst for young athletes who see in Louis something to aspire to themselves.”
Vivacity works in partnership with the council to help support artists and athletes in pursuing careers.
The sculpture, a torso in bronze of Louis, was made by Ben for an exhibition called ‘Avenue of Champions’, an exploration into the world of Olympic and Paralympic athletes in commemoration of the 2012 Olympics.
The sculpture was unveiled by Louis, Shelagh, and the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor John Peach.
Also in attendance were mayoress Janet Martin and Vivacity chief executive Kevin Tighe.
Pupils from the Hebden School of Dance also performed at the event.