Neil Thomas (gymnast)
|Country represented|| United Kingdom
|Born||April 6, 1968|
|Height||162 cm (5 ft 4 in)|
|Discipline||Men's artistic gymnastics|
Neil Roderick Thomas MBE is a retired English artistic gymnast who experienced most of his success in the floor exercises. An acknowledged inspiration to many young British gymnasts, he was former world silver medalist and Commonwealth Games Champion and one of the most successful British gymnasts in the history of the sport.
Born in Chirk, Wrexham in Wales on April 6, 1968, Thomas was noteworthy as a successful gymnast at world and international level at a time when British gymnastics generally did not figure at that level, and is regarded as an important torchbearer in the sport for the later successes of Elizabeth Tweddle, Louis Smith and other male British gymnasts in the 2010s.
Winner of three gold medals spanning two Commonwealth Games, Thomas also added a world silver medal on the floor in 1993, and repeating the feat in 1994. he finished 20th at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
He won a Commonwealth gold medal on floor at Auckland and the vault bronze medal at European Championships in 1990. In 1993 he won Great Britain's first World Championship medal in Artistic Gymnastics (silver) 1993. A year later he won a gold medal on floor and became All-around champion at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, and also won the silver medal on floor at World Championships in Brisbane.
Post-retirement and personal life
He was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1995 New Year Honours for services to gymnastics and in recognition of his near single-handed achievement in putting British men's gymnastics on the map.
Following retirement, Thomas works as a development officer in the north west of England. He is a member of the Liverpool Gymnastics Club. He is cousin to TV journalist Owen Spencer-Thomas, who was also awarded the MBE.
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