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Trinity Thomas using time off to rest, recharge and prepare (hopefully) for Olympic Trials

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • Trinity Thomas is using time off to rest prior to Olympic Trials.
  • Thomas and her Gators teammates were near the top of the NCAA rankings.
  • Thomas will start to prepare for the 2020 USA Gymnastics Olympic Trials.
Florida's Trinity Thomas scores a 9.95 as she competes on the uneven bars at Penn State in State College, Saturday, March 7, 2020. Thomas is also on the U.S. Olympic senior roster. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Trinity Thomas was on the path to making history in 2020, but now her dream college season is a thing of the past.

The Florida sophomore’s attempt to be the first athlete since 1988 to win an NCAA all-around women’s gymnastics championship and make the USA Gymnastics Olympic Team in the same year is over. Instead, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Thomas’ chances at reaching either goal are in doubt.

After the former West York High School athlete went from the 2019 NCAA season, into USA Gymnastics competition and back to NCAA events this year, Thomas has earned a rest period. So, as the entire sports world is on pause for the time being, Thomas will take this week to relax, reflect and plan how to prepare to achieve the goals she still has a chance at.

“I’ve been up for a long time, doing routines and going right from championships last year and rolling right over,” Thomas said. “I think it’s OK for me to take a break right now and it’s probably good for me to just chill for a little before I start building back up.”

Florida's Trinity Thomas scores a 10 on the floor during a gymnastics meet at Penn State in State College, Saturday, March 7, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Thomas is still in Florida, but said the university’s facilities aren’t available at this time so part of her time away from the sport will be figuring out how and where to train.

A stellar season: Although she would have preferred her final performance of the season to be at the NCAA Division I Championships next month, Thomas’ final meet of the season went as well as it could have. Her No. 2 Florida team remained undefeated with a victory at Penn State, with Thomas earning her fourth perfect 10.0 score of the season for her floor routine.

Trinity Thomas delivers another perfect 10.0 score in return to state against Penn State

She ended the college season ranked as the No. 1 all-around gymnast and was the only athlete in the NCAA to record a perfect 10.0 score in three different events. 

“It really just felt unreal,” Thomas said of the decision to cancel the season. “It was just crazy because it was something I never would have thought would happen. It was hard because immediately I was thinking of how good we were doing, how hard we were pushing and how special my team is.” 

Up in the air: In addition to dealing with the disappointment of how her NCAA season ended, Thomas now battles the uncertainty of whether or not the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will continue as planned. Currently, the International Olympic Committee has no plans of postponing or canceling the games, but in the world of sports right now, there is no certainty that any event will happen. 

While the potential loss of the Olympics is a terrible thought for fans of the games, for the athletes preparing to participate it’s even worse not knowing if their hard work will be for nothing this summer.

“It’s definitely difficult to be walking in blind not knowing if the Olympics is going to happen, if (Olympic) Trials are going to happen or other things are going to be canceled,” Thomas said.

Focus on future: As Thomas takes a week to rest and recharge after months and months of competing, her focus is on the future and not stuck on the past. While her chance at making gymnastics history ended when the NCAA Championships were canceled, her current mentality is based on making sure she’s able to achieve the goals still left on the calendar.

“Honestly, just keep my head up,” Thomas said. “I still have goals and aspirations and I know what I want to do. Just because the NCAA season came to a devastating end, it doesn’t mean that I’m done yet. So just keep pushing and keep going and (don’t) lose sight of the goal at the end.” 

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.