1980sABCGymnasticsHighlightsJim McKayTeam USAWide World of Sports

Gymnastics – 1980 – Exhibition In NYC – Mens Parallel Bars – USA Kurt Thomas – With Jim McKay

Two gymnastic moves were named for Kurt Thomas….the Thomas Flair….which is a pommel horse move ….and the Thomas salto….which is his signature skill on floor exercise….encompassing a tucked 1.5 backward salto with 1.5 twist into a roll out….which is a difficult and dangerous skill even by today’s standards. The Thomas Flair on pommel horse….which he also performed on floor….was developed over years by several Pommel Horse specialists…..but, in gymnastics, new moves are named in the gymnastics rule book after the gymnast who is the first to perform the move in international competition. In 2003, Thomas was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Thomas starred in the 1985 film Gymkata….as an athlete sent by the US government to compete in a deadly competition called The Game…..as the film earned Thomas a Razzie Award nomination for Worst New Star and was poorly received by critics….but subsequently has developed somewhat of a cult following due to its unintentional comedy. Thomas also starred in the syndicated TV series True Confessions ….and has worked as a commentator for ABC Sports and ESPN.

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