Team GB gymnast Kristian Thomas honoured with reception

Crowd welcomes Kristian Thomas homes Kristian Thomas returned to the West Midlands with a bronze medal

Related Stories

More than 200 people have welcomed home Olympic gymnast Kristian Thomas at a reception at his club.

The 23-year-old Team GB gymnast, of Wolverhampton, returned to Earls Gymnastics Club, Halesowen, after winning bronze in the London Olympics.

John Caulwell, club chairman, said he deserved a "hero's welcome".

Last week, Thomas described how he hoped his success would encourage more investment for the club, which has struggled for funding.

Mr Caulwell said: "It's the closest a lot of us will get to an Olympic medal and it's generated a lot of excitement at the club."

'An inspiration'

He described Thomas as the "kingpin" of the GB gymnastic team and said his achievements put the Black Country and the club "on the map".

Mr Caulwell, who has known Thomas for seven years, said seeing him develop had been an "inspiration", adding the gymnast was "someone our younger members can look up to because his dedication to training is second to none".

At the scene: Louise Hancock

More than 200 people cheered as Kristian Thomas travelled along Furnace Lane to the gym where he has trained since he was five years old.

Many of the crowd were locals, but some had travelled from as far as Staffordshire, braving the wet weather to get a glimpse of their hero.

Once the sun came out Kristian chatted to young fans, signed autographs and had his photograph taken with those not lucky enough to be invited to the evening's civic reception inside the club.

Lisa Godfrey, whose eight-year-old son Ben is part of the club's development squad, said watching Thomas train benefited the younger gymnasts.

Ben said he felt "special", training alongside the club's Olympic star.

He was met by the Mayor of Dudley Melvyn Mottram and Tracy Wood, Dudley Council's cabinet member for culture.

The gymnast was escorted into the club by Olympic torchbearer Chris Platts.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites



Min. Night 11 °C


  • Women doing ice bucket challengeChill factor

    How much has the Ice Bucket Challenge achieved?

  • Members of staff at James Stevenson Flags hold a Union Jack and Saltire flag UK minus Scotland

    Does the rest of the UK care if the Scots become independent?

  • HoneybeesCreating a buzz

    Can President Obama's taskforce save America's bees?

  • Tracer particles show the flow of water around coral (c) Orr H. Shapiro, Vicente I. Fernandez, Melissa S. Garren, Jeffrey S. Guasto, François P. Debaillon-Vesque, Esti Kramarski-Winter, Assaf Vardi, Roman Stocker, PNAS, 2014Troubled waters

    How corals stir up their world to draw in nutrients

  • Ayodeji Adewunmi, Olalekan Olude and Opeyemi Awoyemi standing outside in business attireJobbermen

    The student entrepreneurs behind Nigeria's online jobs giant

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.