Today’s London Olympic’s 2012 Heroes: Team GB’s Male Gymnasts (aka The One Direction Of The Games!)

31 July 2012 by

Team GB gymnasts Londo 2012 Olympics 

They’re young, cheeky… and loved by women - and men - across the country. No, not One Direction (although we love them too), but our new Olympic heroes: the Team GB male gymnasts.

Last night, they won our hearts after being awarded a Silver medal – only to have it snatched away after an appeal by the Japanese team and replaced with a Bronze. But did they stomp their feet and complain? No. With a dignity that made us melt, they beamingly held their medals aloft to huge cheers from the crowd.

Team GB gymnasts Londo 2012 Olympics Louis Smith 

Louis Smith on the pommel horse

The moment was even more special given it was Britain’s first Olympic medal in the event for a century, and was watched by a delighted Prince William and Harry.

So who are gymnasts? Here’s all you need to know about the boys that everyone is talking about…

The new Niall Horan….Daniel Purvis, 21

Born in Liverpool, Dan is regarded as one of the UK's best gymnasts. He's also adorably modest, saying, 'To be honest, if somebody had said before the Games we would come away with a bronze medal, we wouldn't have believed it. To get a bronze is just a dream come true for everyone."

The new Zayn Malik… Max Whitlock, 19

It was Max’s Olympic debut… and even he couldn’t believe how well the team did, saying ‘I still can’t believe I’m holding an Olympic medal.’

The new Harry Styles… Louis Smith, 23

The best known of the team – and the captain - Louis wowed the crowds with his pommel horse performance. His coach reckons he’s encircled it a million times in his career. ‘Most mornings I wake up in pain’, admits Louis.

 Team GB gymnasts Londo 2012 Olympics Kristian Thomas

Kristian Thomas performs

The new Liam Payne… Kristian Thomas, 23

He took up gymnastics at the age of 10, and started full-time training after finishing his A-levels in 2007. ‘I was just trying to stay on my feet’, he said last night. ‘I knew if I landed everything we were going to win a medal. Every time I did a tumble I could hear the crowd getting louder and louder and it really spurred me on.’

The new Louis Tomlinson… Sam Oldham, 19

He’s had to overcome injury. But Sam proved he’s a battler… even after falling off the high bar he got a great score on the parallel bars. ‘The support from the British public has been unbelievable and I will remember this for the rest of my life’, he says.


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