According to the announcement of the American Gymnastics Association, on Friday, local time, Kurt Thomas, the first world champion of American gymnastics and the creator of Thomas Swirl, died of a stroke at the age of 64.

  Kurt Thomas was born in Miami on March 29, 1956. He won the men's floor gymnastics gold medal in the 1978 World Gymnastics Championships and became the first world champion of American gymnastics.

Screenshot of the American Gymnastics Association announcement.

  In the 1979 World Championships in Fort Worth, he used "Thomas Full Spin" for the first time in the pommel horse race to win the championship. After this move, it was widely used in free exercise and parallel bars. In the current World Championships, he won 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.

  In 1990, Thomas was inducted into the American Gymnastics Hall of Fame and in 2003 into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

  Regarding Thomas' death, his family issued a statement. Wife Becky Thomas said: "I lost my whole universe, my best friend and my soulmate for 24 years."

  The American Gymnastics Association also expressed its sorrow and respect for Thomas: "Mr. Thomas is honored to be one of the most influential and inspiring athletes in the history of American gymnastics. We will always miss him." (End)