The move, which has since been incorporated into floor exercises and even dance, wasn’t invented by Thomas. However, in gymnastics, moves are named after the first person to perform them in international competition. Hence, the Thomas Flair.


All told, Kurt Thomas won eleven medals for U.S. Gymnastics in major international competitions at a time when men’s gymnastics was dominated by the Soviet Union and Japan. After retiring, he went on to work in sports broadcasting for both ABC and ESPN, and ran the Kurt Thomas Gymnastics Training Center in Frisco, Texas, with his wife Rebecca, whom he married in 2003.