It’s always great for the sport when a gymnast is rewarded for their professionalism, dedication and unselfish service to others. So, it’s fitting that two-time Olympic gymnast and multiple major championship medallist, Kristian Thomas, has been elected onto the BOA’s Athletes’ Commission.
This is, of course, an advisory group set up to ensure the athletes’ viewpoint and interests are at the heart of everything the BOA does. The Commission has 12 members, made up of a mixture of retired and current athletes from summer and winter sports.
It was founded in 2004 to represent the interests of athletes in Great Britain to major decision-makers in the sport. The brief also included assisting athletes in member sports to both setup and maintain athlete representative structures. It’s also specified that all candidates must have competed for Team GB at an Olympic Games or Olympic Winter Games within the past 12 years, and no earlier than Turin 2006.
A Sporting Honour
It’s a great honour for the 29-year-old former artistic gymnast from Wolverhampton to be chosen as one of five new members serving a four-year term from 2019 to 2022. It means Kristian will be at the heart of the decision-making process for Team GB so he can have a key part to play on how the sport continues to develop long into the future. No doubt his experience will be called upon frequently having performed at the highest level for a number of years.
He was, in fact, the first male gymnast ever to win a medal in ‘vault’, landing a bronze in the 2013 World Championships. Two years later he won his first major international title, securing gold in the floor exercise at the 2015 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships. And we can’t forget his contribution as part of the British team that won gold in the 2012 European Championships team event, and a historic bronze in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics.
For those who know Kristian well it comes as no surprise to see him further an ambition not just to help up and coming athletes, but also those currently working hard with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon. It’s a huge responsibility, but this exceptional athlete will surely take it all in his stride.