Last Updated: July 25, 2012 8:24am
Louis Smith: Trying to stay calm with Olympics almost here
Team GB gymnast Louis Smith wants to play down the enormity of the Olympics by branding it as "just another competition".
With the weight of expectation of the British public placed squarely on his broad shoulders, the charismatic 23-year-old - who claimed bronze in Beijing four years ago - is hoping to shrug off the pressure as Games time approaches.
Smith is one of British gymnastics' best medal hopes alongside Beth Tweddle, who will compete in her last-ever Olympics at the North Greenwich Arena in the coming weeks.
Smith said: "I never actually thought this day would come. It's a strange feeling.
"We will try and see this as just another competition. All the world championships over the years, you're always thinking, '2012, it's ages away, it's ages away,' and now we're here, four or five days away and we're about to compete so it's quite nerve-wracking.
"We try to keep it like a normal competition so we don't try and work ourselves up thinking, 'Oh my God, this is the Olympics'."
Louis Smith Quotes of the week
"I can't stress enough, how ready the team are. We've been training hard for the last two weeks in France.
"The boys were fantastic and we've got no injuries so hopefully we can produce the goods."
Smith is under no illusions that the London Games could well provide the biggest moment of his life.
In a bid to focus on his preparations, the pommel horse specialist has sworn himself off social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
But he intends to stay down to earth in the remaining days before the competition starts, and that includes getting a haircut for the big occasion and continuing to play practical jokes on his team-mates.
The latest to fall victim to one of his pranks was Kristian Thomas, who had his room turned into a sauna after Smith tampered with his air conditioning.
Smith said: "We try to keep it like a normal competition so we don't try and work ourselves up thinking, 'Oh my God, this is the Olympics'.
"We try to keep chilled. I'm going to get my hair cut, we've got a PlayStation set up in the room and got some DVDs, so we're trying to keep things really relaxed."
British Gymnastics Olympic performance director Tim Jones believes there is a good reason to be optimistic about Team GB's medal chances.
Jones said: "We're a team that's ready to go.
"We've said as a squad our target is between one or two medals. Historically the reality is that we have only won one medal, which is Louis, for a considerable period of time, but our medal chances are greater than that.
"If you look back four years it was probably limited to just Louis and Beth but now we have a real cohort of gymnasts, who on their day can put themselves in a position to shoot for medals.
"We feel we have a number of arrows in our bow that we can shoot to the target and that's not what we've felt we've had in the past."
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
A week into the Games of the XXX Olympiad, Richard Moore brings us his half-way highs and lows
Linford Christie sprinted to 100m gold for Britain at an Olympic Games best remembered for America's basketball dream team.