Life has changed for Olympic star Kristian Thomas

Olympic star Kristian Thomas described how his bronze medal had changed his life as he went back to his old school to receive a hero’s welcome.

Ex-pupil and Olympic gymnast Kristian Thomas returns to St Edmund’s Catholic School in Wolverhampton
Ex-pupil and Olympic gymnast Kristian Thomas returns to St Edmund’s Catholic School in Wolverhampton

Olympic star Kristian Thomas described how his bronze medal had changed his life as he went back to his old school to receive a hero’s welcome.

The 23-year-old bronze medallist returned to St Edmund’s Catholic School in Compton as a star guest. Kristian, from Wednesfield, whose breathtaking floor exercise secured the first Team GB gymnastics team medal for a century, spoke to pupils and handed out prizes.

He explained the shock of going from an anonymous man in the street to being instantly recognised.

Kristian has just returned from a 10-day sunshine holiday in Cyprus with girlfriend Gemma Reid. And, on his return, he was quickly reminded of his new status.

He said: “We went into Nando’s restaurant in Bentley Bridge and the staff wanted to pose for a picture with me. Then they gave us a free meal. It was great.

“My life has changed out of all perspective and so far only good things have happened. It is nice having people come up to congratulate you. But you are aware that you have to be a bit more careful of what you do when you are in the public eye.”

Kristian, who left St Edmund’s with 10 GCSEs and one A- level, described being back at school as a “weird experience”.

He said: “Six years ago I was in exactly the same situation they were except I was sitting there listening to Beverly Knight. It still seems strange to have reversed my role so quickly. I just wanted to get across the message that everybody has some sort of talent. Luckily I developed mine at an early age through sport.

“But whatever you are good at, anything is possible so long as you work hard, make sacrifices and dedicate yourself to making that dream come true.”

Kristian was returning to the gym today for the first time since finishing competing in the Games. He trains 30 hours a week with just one day off in seven.