Kurt Thomas, first US man to win world gym title, dies at 64
Kurt Thomas, the first U.S. male gymnast to win a world championship gold medal, has died. He was 64. Thomas’ family said he died Friday. He had a stroke May 24, caused by a tear of the basilar artery in the brain stem. After competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Thomas won the floor exercise in the 1978 world championships in Strasbourg, France, for the first U.S. men’s title. In the 1979 worlds in Fort Worth, Texas, he successfully defended the floor exercise title and won the horizontal bar. Thomas lost a chance for Olympic gold when the United States boycotted the 1980 Olympics.