London: Olympic gymnast Louis Smith missed a victory parade in London for Britain’s Rio medallists in London’s Trafalgar Square and a subsequent reception at Buckingham Palace to visit mosques after he appeared to mock Islam.
Online video footage showed Smith, 27, and fellow gymnast Luke Carson laughing whilst pretending to pray and shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great).
This year’s Olympic Games in Rio saw Smith win a silver medal on the pommel horse, with British team-mate Max Whitlock taking gold.
Four-time medallist Smith, in a message posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, said: “I accepted the offer to learn more about the Muslim community and Islam. I honestly can say it was actually a really good day.
“I was a little nervous and anxious before visiting because of the events in the last week. But the people and the community where so understanding and inviting.”
Smith, who is facing disciplinary action by British gymnastics, added: “We discussed my actions and they showed me what they learn and the true meaning behind their religion of peace. The community work they do for various charities is actually crazy and the money raised each year would blow your mind.”