Olympic hero Kristian Thomas retires

Kristian Thomas has announced his retirement from elite gymnastics ending a career that saw him take multiple individual honours at World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, win Olympic bronze with the British team at London 2012 and captain the team in Rio 2016.

Kristian led the men’s artistic British team for over a decade and was a part of many of the defining moments in the history of men’s gymnastics in this country.

Commenting on his decision to hang up the handguards, 28-year-old Kristian said: “I think now is the right time, having achieved everything I’ve ever dreamt of in the sport, being lucky enough to compete at the highest level, win medals for my country and travel the world with my friends. Now is the time to try something new and hang up the guards. I started gymnastics 23 years ago and I’ve always found it exciting, challenging and unique which is what has kept me in the sport so long.

In terms of my best moments I could make a list that goes on and on but the three occasions that really stand out for me would have to be the London Olympics, 2015 Glasgow World Championships and winning a bronze on vault at the 2013 World Championships. All for very different reasons, but the magnitude of a home Olympics and the feelings and emotions of what it’s like to win an Olympic medal is something that I will never forget. It was similar with my 2015 World Championships experience. To win medals in front of a home crowd, and to do it as team captain made the moment even more special.

The World Championships vault medal was one of my most rewarding because of the journey I’d had that year. A broken tibia, broken heel bone, tough team selection, yet I came through it and this helped me to further achieve international medals.

To end my competitive career in Rio and be selected by my peers as team captain is something I’m extremely proud of. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete alongside so many incredible and inspirational gymnasts who know how to get the best out of each other; that made my role as team captain the easiest of jobs.

I want to thank all the incredible people who have supported me every step of the way. My coaches, family, friends, British Gymnastics support staff and the amazing gymnastics fans. I will definitely be staying in the sport and look forward to cheering on the British team for many years to come.”

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