Legendary gymnast Kurt Thomas is dead at the age of 64.
“Yesterday I lost my universe, my best friend and my soul mate of twenty-four years,” Thomas’ wife Beckie told International Gymnast Magazine, just one day after her husband passed away due to a tear of the basilar artery in the brain stem, causing a severe stroke on May 24th. “Kurt lived his life to the extreme, and I will be forever honored to be his wife.”
[RELATED: Olympic Gymnasts Try To Teach Normal People How To Do Basic Gymnastics, And The Results Are Hilarious]
“I am completely devastated to hear this,” Olympic teammate Bart Conner, told the outlet. “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.”
Indeed, there was a time when you couldn’t mention the word ‘gymnastics’ without mentioning the name Kurt Thomas. The legendary gymnast made history when he became the winner of the first World Championship gold medal in the history of U.S. gymnastics. He would go on to win a total of eight world medals, three of them gold, at the 1978 and 1979 World Championships.
However, he was never given the chance for Olympic glory, as the 1980 Olympic Games boycott occurred, and Thomas went on to go pro. He also served as a television gymnastics analyst during the 1984 Olympic games. In later years, he would become a business owner of Kurt Thomas Gymnastics in Frisco, TX.
We send our condolences to all those who mourn his death.