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Subject: Kurt Thomas, first American gymnast to win a World Championship dies. ...

...He was 64
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Date Posted: Sunday, June 07, 02:33:44am

World Champion Gymnast Kurt Thomas Passes Away After Suffering Stroke. ...
IG Staff
June 6, 2020

Kurt Thomas, the winner of the first World Championship gold medal in the history of U.S. gymnastics,
passed away on June 5th, after tear of the basilar artery in the brain stem, causing a severe stroke on May 24th.

Thomas, known for his original and daring skills, including the “Thomas Flair” on pommel horse, and the “Thomas Salto” on floor exercise, won a total of eight world medals, three of them gold, at the 1978 and 1979 World Championships. It was at the 1978 World Championships in Strasbourg, France, where Thomas used his signature skills on the floor exercise to win the first world championship gold medal for the U.S. men’s gymnastics program. Thomas, competed as a member of the U.S. team to the 1975 Pan American Games, as well as the 1976 Olympics. When the 1980 Olympic boycott was announced, Thomas decided to turn pro, and went on to perform for many years in professional shows and starred in the 1985 movie Gymkata.

Thomas worked as an TV analyst for ABC Sports during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. With professionals allowed in the Olympics in 1992, Thomas attempted a comeback at the advanced age of thirty-six, qualifying to the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials. Thomas and his wife, Beckie, own and operate the Kurt Thomas Gymnastics in Frisco, TX. “Yesterday I lost my universe, my best friend and my soul mate of twenty-four years. Kurt lived his life to the extreme, and I will be forever honored to be his wife,” said wife, Beckie Thomas.

Thomas was born in Miami, FL, on March 29, 1956, and he quickly rose through the ranks of the Jr. Olympic program until he landed a scholarship at Indiana State University. While at Indiana State, Thomas earned 13 All-America honors, as well as the James E. Sullivan Award in 1979. He was elected into the Indiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, and he was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2003.

“I am completely devastated to hear this”, said Olympic teammate Bart Conner. “Kurt was a fierce rival, who went on to become a cherished friend.
My heart is breaking for his wife Beckie, his children, Hunter, Kassidy and Kurt as well as the entire gymnastics community, who lost a true pioneer today.”

Link ...

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Subject Author Date
On IMDb Page Mainly Known as an Actor for film, "Gymkata". (NT)David S.Sunday, June 07, 02:36:41am
Wow. So young, and makes me feel really old. Where is time going? (NT)He was the face of US gymnastics in the '70's during the Cold War eraMonday, June 08, 08:24:27am

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