Louis Smith today (August 14) hit back at claims he refused to congratulate Max Whitlock after last night’s thrilling pommel horse final in Rio.
The 27 year-old from Eye was accused of sulking when Whitlock pipped him to the gold medal and others posted footage online claiming Smith allegedly said: ‘That’s bull**** man’ as he lost.
Smith responded by saying: “Because it wasn’t shown on camera doesn’t mean I didn’t show my respect. Ask Max yourself then apologise.”
In a series of defensive tweets regarding the swearing, Smith claimed that he had said “should be proud man”. He also suggested it was at a different part of the event.
Smith also said his tears and lack of smiles on the podium were because he was thinking about all his mother had done for him, adding: “My tears weren’t that of sadness. I’m not a wimp. It was of pride and relief.”
Some viewers suggested Smith spent more time commiserating with third-placed American Alexander Naddour as his British team-mate made history.
It sparked a furious social media backlash from fans who accused him of not being ‘gracious’ in defeat and congratulating Whitlock.
He eventually did hug his team-mate following the medal ceremony.
Smith, who has won two silvers and a bronze across three different Olympics, said it was a bitter-sweet moment.
He told the BBC: “There are many different emotions. I would have liked to get a gold.
“I received so many negative comments, about team selection saying I shouldn’t even be in the team and then to have messed up in the team final and then to have had a week until now, I was dealing with a lot emotionally, mentally. It just means so much.
“The amount of pride I’m feeling right now - I’ve been speaking to my mum quite a lot, she’s at home, she didn’t come out. She’s been worried sick and just to go through that ... it means so much.
“I’ve been in the sport for two decades now, I’m 27, I don’t know if this is my last Olympics. To have done that routine the way I was feeling, I am very happy.
“Three different Olympics - three different medals - well, two silvers, one bronze - I’ve still got it.”