– Nadia Comaneci
Kurt Thomas, the winner of the first World Championship gold medal in the history of U.S. gymnastics, passed away on June 5, 2020, after suffering a severe stroke. Known for his original and daring skills, including the “Thomas Flair” on pommel horse, and “Thomas Salto” on floor exercise, Thomas won eight world medals, three of them gold, at the 1978 and 1979 World Championships. Read more »
With just the right mix of aggressive attitude and physical strength, Kurt Thomas seemed destined for greatness in his chosen sport. By the time of the 1976 Olympics, Thomas’ skill and explosive power were beginning to get noticed. But it was the introduction of the Thomas flair that forever sealed his stamp on the sport. Read more »
As if honoring his trademark flair for the dramatic, tornado warning sirens began blaring outside the Oklahoma City convention center shortly after Kurt Thomas began his induction speech as the newest member of the Hall. And as was his way, Kurt ignored the danger, entertaining a rapt audience of 300 fans for almost 20 minutes. Read more »
The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacies and promoting the achievements of our sport’s most accomplished and decorated legends.
"...It’s more than a sport. Gymnastics is a celebration. Gymnastics exemplifies the extraordinary lengths that the mind can go to ask the body to perform. And in doing that, and the wonderful things that you gymnasts do, it becomes a celebration of life..."
"I want to share with you the reason I love our sport so much. It teaches us how to fall... It teaches us to fall in such a way that even when we do not believe in ourselves that we have any energy left to continue, thanks to gymnastics, we always find the energy to get up in the end. We go on, and we never, ever give up..."
"Being inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is the highest honor an individual can achieve with our sport. The Japanese Gymnastics Association views it as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize..."
"How did I start gymnastics? It was a long, long time ago. It was 1976, the first time I saw the Olympic Games. And I saw Andrianov on high bar. And I said to my mom, "Hey, I want to be like Andrianov." She said, "Hey, are you kidding?" As everybody now knows, I wasn’t kidding.
"In Ukraine, we are inviting young gymnasts, young people into the sport. We invite athletes from all over the world, from rhythmic gymnastics, acro, trampoline. We want to show younger generations what sport can give to you. What kind of doors you can open through gymnastics..."
"I am so blessed that I got to spend most of my life doing a sport that I absolutely love, and will always love, and have such a passion for… I also want to thank USA Gymnastics. I wouldn’t have had these opportunities without USA Gymnastics being there, and allowing me to go reach for my dreams and see how far I could go..."
"I think the proudest moment for my coach, Kelly Hill, for my career, had to be the moment in 1994 when I signed for a full scholarship at Stanford University. For her, it was all about education…It is the coaches, behind the scenes, that allow the athletes to shine..."
"As I was lying on Olympus, without the strength to get up, I asked myself and God whether this was really the meaning of my life. And I found what it is that the sport teaches us. I looked back over my shoulder, past the hills of pain, ravines of injustice and rocks of slight... and I saw you—people that accompanied me, people who also trudged in life, people who choose the path of fairness. This is what our sport gives us—an appreciation of the fair route through life. Even when this route is thorny and difficult..."
"I want to share with you the reason I love our sport so much. It teaches us how to fall…It teaches us to fall in such a way that even when we do not believe in ourselves that we have any energy left to continue, thanks to gymnastics, we always find the energy to get up in the end. We go on, and we never, ever give up..."
"Gymnastics over-rode political differences. People in the United States, when they saw these wonderful athletes, they didn’t care that Tourischeva was from the Soviet Union, or that Nadia was from Communist Romania, or Vera Caslavska was from Czechoslovakia. They just looked at excellence. And admired it. And understood the true wonder of it all..."
The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (IGHOF) is a fully independent, not-for-profit organization that is not affiliated with any other organization. We are recognized by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) as the de facto, official hall of fame for the sport of artistic gymnastics.
The IGHOF functions much like the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The NBHOF is not affiliated with, nor governed by, Major League Baseball. It works closely with the league, however, in acting on its mission to preserve and promote the history of the game. In that same way, the IGHOF works closely with the FIG, the International Olympic Committee and national governing bodies for artistic gymnastics from around the world, as necessary, to honor the legends of our sport and promote their individual legacies.
The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame Exhibit is governed by a board of directors made up entirely of volunteers with backgrounds in gymnastics, business, education and public service. The IGHOF Exhibit is located within the Science Museum Oklahoma, at the OmniPlex Center in Oklahoma City, OK, U.S.A., which attracts more than 20,000 visitors a month, primarily school children.
While plans for a permanent bricks-and-mortar home are under development, the IGHOF actively advances its mission on several fronts, including our cornerstone event, the annual Induction Ceremonies, and our global "virtual" Hall of Fame online at www.ighof.com.