UF gymnast plays waiting game after season canceled, Olympics postponed

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Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas is a first-team All-American in the All-Around, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise, and a second-teamer in the Vault. [Brad McClenny/Staff photographer/File]
The first cancellation was difficult. The second and third ones were devastating. By now, Trinity Thomas is almost used to it.
She had a feeling that the 2020 Olympics would not take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Already, the virus had taken away her final home meet at Florida, the SEC Championships and the NCAA Championships.
“It’s a lot at once,” said the sophomore gymnast. “I’m trying to take it all in trying to decide what to do. It was something I had just told myself this is probably a real possibility so I was prepared a lot more (for the Olympics to be canceled) than when the NCAA season was canceled.”
She returned home to York, Pa., to spend time with her family and — like all UF students — take online classes. (And pulling in five All-American honors on Tuesday.)
What her future holds remains to be seen.
“The hardest part is not knowing and not having a timeline,” she said. “Just working out at my house and trying to stay healthy. I miss the gym a lot.
“It’s weird not going to the gym every day. Everything is just strange right now.”
Thomas was having a spectacular year for the second-ranked Gators, to say the least. She has recorded five 10s in three different events and set the school record for the best all-around score. She certainly was one of the reasons Florida had a legitimate shot at winning the national title.
And this summer was supposed to be a shot at the Olympics. Now, that will have to wait.
“The break is good because I haven’t had a break in awhile,” she said. “I needed some rest anyway. I’m trying to look at the positives that will come from this.”
But there is also this — the possibility exists that the Games in 2021 could be in the spring instead of the summer. That means she’d have to choose between her junior season at Florida and the Olympics.
“If that happened, that would be a real hard decision,” Thomas said. “I’m not ready to make that decision yet.”
On a team that was so close AND so close to a special finish to the season, saying goodbye until this is over was especially difficult.
“It was really hard, thinking about my team going to the national championship,” she said. “We were going to do it this year. We’re going to come back and show everybody what we started this year. We were close so it was hard to say goodbye.
“I just want to win a national championship at Florida. I know what this team is capable of. I’m excited about what we can do.”
For now, it’s playing volleyball with her siblings in the backyard and watching Netflix and doing an occasional workout in her house. She has plans to go to the Prestige Gym in York at some point just to work on the basics.
The Olympics, as well as another Gator season, seem a long way off.
“If they open campus back up, I’m probably going to go back as long as they open the gym up,” Thomas said. “Otherwise, I’m going to just stay here. It gives you more time to prepare (for the Olympics.)
“Everything happens for a reason.”