With sadness, we share the passing of 1976 Olympian and three-time World gold medalist Kurt Thomas on June 5. Kurt was a long-time member of the gymnastics community and, with his wife Beckie, owned and operated Kurt Thomas Gymnastics in Frisco, Texas.

In addition to the three gold medals Kurt received for performances on floor exercise and the horizontal bar at the 1978 and 1979 World Championships, he earned three silver and one bronze. He also pioneered a number of original skills, including the “Thomas Flair” on pommel horse and the “Thomas Salto” on floor exercise. In 1979, he became the first gymnast to earn the AAU’s James E. Sullivan Award for outstanding amateur athletics. He was named to the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 2003, he was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

“We are profoundly saddened by the passing of Kurt Thomas,” said USA Gymnastics CEO Li Li Leung. “Beyond the accolades, Kurt was one of the most inspiring and influential male gymnasts in our nation’s history, and he will be greatly missed by our entire community. Our thoughts remain with the Thomas family during this difficult time.”