Tell me about your career with USA Gymnastics.
In 1998, I began competing internationally with USA Gymnastics in Yokohama, Japan as a Junior Gymnast. USA Gymnastics gave me the opportunity to travel all over the world competing, and in the media covering the 2008 Olympic Games. I was a Junior and Senior National Champion and was a member of two World Championships Teams. My most prestigious accomplishment was winning a Bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio, Brazil.
What drew you and your wife to open Thornton's Gymnastics Center in League City?
My wife was born & raised in Galveston County, and I spent most of my childhood in the Clear Lake area, so we were familiar with and drawn to the small town feel of League City. League City has really exploded with growth over the years, and we wanted to be a part of that growth in this family-oriented community. We are here to make a positive impact in children's lives, and have felt incredibly appreciated and welcomed by the residents since we opened 2 years ago. We love it so much, we moved here 6 months after we opened our gym.
How would you encourage young kids to get off the couch & get active in physical activities?
We see a significant increase in children's self-confidence, health, and overall behavior as a result of their participation in physical activity. Whether it's a once a week gymnastics class or our high-level competitive gymnasts who work out 20 hours per week, they feel good about themselves by getting stronger & learning new skills, they make friends in class & grow their social skills, and spend less time in front of a screen. Many kids look up to professional athletes, so by encouraging them that they can do it too really motivates them to get out there and try it.
What are your plans for the Thornton Invitational?
We host a gymnastics competition annually here in League City. Last year we had to turn away competitors because of our space limitations within our facility. We are excited to grow our competition by hosting this year's Thornton Invitational at Hometown Heroes Park in a partnership with the City of League City. We are working closely with the city to help get the support we need to potentially bring thousands of gymnasts and their families to League City for this competition. We are excited to grow our competition, as well as positively impact the city by bringing in families from out of town to enjoy the hotels, restaurants, and other attractions the city has to offer.
What is your favorite thing about League City?
League City is a fast-growing city offering family-friendly activities, unique small businesses, and friendly residents. Our favorite thing about League City is its residents. We have been welcomed and supported through our business startup, and even more so with our recovery from our gym being flooded by Hurricane Harvey. We couldn't be more thankful for all the help and encouragement we received then and still receive now.
Where is your favorite place to eat in League City?
Red River Bar-B-Que & Ocean Sushi Grill.
When away from the gym, wherein League City do you like to hang out?
My wife Kimberly and I like to work out at the Fitness Center at South Shore, try different local restaurants for Sunday brunch, and walk our three dogs in our neighborhood.
Thornton’s Gymnastics Center
1001 S. Egret Bay Blvd., Ste. 202