The Kurt Thomas Foundation will host its annual black-tie gala featuring the Emerald City Band on Friday, Sept. 22 at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West.
During the gala, a one-year training scholarship will be awarded to a deserving young gymnast who embodies the qualities of Kurt Thomas. The Kurt Thomas Foundation will also present “The Thomas Flair Award” to Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton, recognizing the significant impact he has made on sports.
In 1978, Kurt became the first American male gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. But Kurt wasn't done, and a year later, he followed that up by winning six medals at the world championship and set the record for the most medals won at a single world championship by an American gymnast. It wasn't until 39 years later in 2018 that another American — Simone Biles — matched that feat.
"Kurt was ahead of his time," said Olympian Mitch Gaylord. "As a competitor, there was no one more intense than Kurt — he wanted to be the best, trained to become the best, and nothing was going to stop him. Kurt was a charismatic performer, exciting and fun to watch. People couldn’t help but cheer for him bringing audiences to their feet after his routines."
Beckie and Kurt moved to Frisco in 1996. The Thomases founded Kurt Thomas Gymnastics, which specializes in training athletes ages three through 18. "It is not a franchise, but a privately owned family business with a love for children and the sport of gymnastics," Beckie previously told Local Profile, as the training center enters its 24th year. Each instructor is trained through the program USA Gymnastics and also has passed a thorough background check and is SafeSport Certified. To date, Kurt Thomas Gymnastics' record is impressive: Over 1,800 state, regional and national titles and 19 athletes earning college scholarships.
The black-tie Gala will feature the Emerald City band, raffle prizes and the new addition of casino tables. There will also be a silent auction for training funds and investment in program development for men’s gymnastics.
The gala will take place at the Renaissance Hotel Plano West Plano, Texas from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets and sponsorships are on sale through the Kurt Thomas Foundation website www.kurtthomasfoundation.com.