West York's Trinity Thomas announces retirement from elite gymnastics, citing injuries

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports

A pair of unfortunate circumstances have cost Trinity Thomas a chance to join a special list of gymnasts.

The former West York High School athlete had twin goals to compete for an NCAA championship with her Florida Gators team and make Team USA for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, something unique in high-level gymnastics.

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

In 2020, Thomas was one of the premier gymnasts in the country and Florida was undefeated before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down both events. One year later, with the Olympics rescheduled for this summer, Thomas injured both ankles in March while Florida was No. 1. She wasn't able to fully recover and lead the Gators to NCAA glory.

Now, the ankle injuries have halted the other half of her dream. Thomas announced Wednesday night on Twitter that she has retired from elite gymnastics and won't attempt to qualify for the Olympic team. She had been a member of Team USA since 2016.

"A chapter of my story has come to an end," Thomas said in the video posted on Twitter. "As I completed my last floor routine at the NCAA National Championships, I realized there was not enough time for me to heal and compete at the elite level. I need time to rest and rehab, so I made a difficult decision."

Thomas will focus on her recovery ahead of her senior season at Florida. The Gators star has been one of the top athletes in the nation during her three years at Florida and will attempt to capture two of the few trophies that have eluded her next year — a national team championship and an individual NCAA title.

Thomas earned five 2021 Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association All-America honors despite her injury. She received first-team honors in the all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor events, and was a second-team honoree for the balance beam.

The Florida junior was the lone NCAA gymnast to earn the maximum five All-America honors. She also had four perfect 10.0 scores during the season and was the No. 1-ranked all-around gymnast in the NCAA.

As a sophomore, Thomas also received five All-America awards, and during her freshman season was the lone NCAA gymnast in her class to to earn four All-America spots.

Florida was the No. 1 team in the NCAA throughout the regular season and posted an NCAA season-high 198.275 score on Feb. 26, which was Thomas' last event before being injured. The Gators won the regular-season Southeastern Conference title and finished fourth at the NCAA Team Championship event.

— Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.