A 7-year-old gymnast already representing Aberdeen in national competitions says he won’t stop until he’s in the Olympics.
Archie, a pupil at the city’s Cornhill Primary School, first set foot in Aberdeen Gymnastics Centre less than 18 months ago.
But already he’s representing Aberdeen at national events across the country, and he has the medals to testify to his talent.
Now he’s counting down the years until he can qualify for Team GB and follow in the footsteps of the Granite City’s most recent Olympian, Zoey Clark.
Big talk for a seven-year-old perhaps, but then again, Archie is already competing in men’s categories nationally.
Archie was a gymnast from the moment he could walk
Mum Claire Smith told The P&J that the signs were there from a very young age.
“Ever since Archie could walk, he was doing cartwheels, back flips, rolls,” she said.
“I tried putting him in football and boxing, but he just wasn’t taking to it.
“Then last May he started at Aberdeen Gymnastics Centre. As soon as he started, everyone could see he just had a natural talent for it.”
After five months, the club approached Claire and said they’d like Archie to represent Aberdeen at national competitions.
He won two golds and a silver at his first event at the Silverburn Gymnastics Centre in Aberdeen.
Competing in the men’s category: ‘He has no fear’
More recently, he represented the city at a Scottish Gymnastics event in Perth, where he competed in the men’s category for artistic floor and vault.
“The coaches just said he was born to do it, and that he’s got so much potential. They say he’s got no fear.
“He trains 12 hours a week, he trains on a Monday, a Wednesday and a Saturday. So it does take up quite a lot of his life, but he just loves it.
“If there’s a school disco on a Wednesday, he says he can’t go as he doesn’t want to miss gymnastics. ‘I can’t miss training’, he says.”
‘Mummy, how old do you have to be to be in the Olympics?’
She added: “His dream is to be an Olympian. He says: ‘Mummy, how old do you have to be to be in the Olympics?’
“Whenever he’s asked what he wants to be when he’s older, he says he wants to be a gymnast, he wants to be an Olympian. That’s all he says.
“Even when he’s not training, he’s doing back flips in the living room.
“We were on holiday in Turkey recently, and on our first night there he was up on stage.
“There were acrobats performing, and he ended up on stage doing backflips, with the whole crowd applauding. He’s just so confident, he loves it.”