GYMNAST Danny Crouch completed a memorable week at the European Youth Olympic Festival by carrying the Great Britain flag at the closing ceremony.

The 16-year-old from Rayleigh won gold on the floor, silver in the horizontal bar final and silver in the artistic team final in Slovakia.

And Crouch enjoyed every second of the experience.

“It was an amazing feeling to be the flagbearer, especially as I wasn’t just selected by my sport but by my Team GB teammates,” said Crouch.

“I feel really proud and it’s been really good to be part of Team GB this week.

“Meeting people from different sports and watching different sports has been a really good experience and to be able to take that into my career is great!”

However, Crouch’s main focus was obviously on gymnastics.

And he surprised even himself by grabbing gold on floor.

“Competing against the best in Europe and coming away with a gold medal was really unexpected,” said Crouch.

“I knew I’d be up there if I did a clean routine but to get the gold was amazing.”

Crouch, a FitzWimarc School pupil, also took fourth place in the all around final and earned praise from Lizzie Simmonds, Chef de Mission for Team GB at Banská Bystrica 2022.

“Danny has had an exceptional festival, and has led the way with his performances and his attitude towards the event,” said Simmonds.

“To be voted as flag bearer by his fellow athletes is a true testament to the impact he has had on the wider team, and I know they were honoured to have him leading Team GB out.

“I hope he enjoyed the occasion as we rounded off a very special week here in Banská.”

“I’ve been really proud of the whole team this week in Slovakia.

“It’s been a tough few years for young athletes, so it’s been great to watch some outstanding competition in all five of our sports.”

Crouch will now be working towards securing more success and currently trains 36 hours at the South Essex Gymnastics Club which is based in Basildon.

Crouch - who took up the sport at the age of two - regularly trains alongside triple Olympic champion Max Whitlock as well as fellow international Brinn Bevan and Courtney Tulloch.

And Crouch’s mum Louise believes it is the best possible place for him to hone his skills.

She said: “Success breeds success and it’s really inspiring for Danny to train alongside the calibre of gymnasts there.

“His coach Anthony Wise is fantastic and it’s a club which keeps on turning out champions.”