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Former Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas accused of being deadbeat dad

Web posted Feb. 03 at 01:39 AM

Associated Press

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Former Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas is nearly $9,000 behind in child-support payments for his son, according to a case filed Monday in District Court.

Thomas, of Plano, Texas, was charged with felony nonsupport and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Thomas has a 4-year-old son in Great Falls, Cascade County Attorney Brant Light said.

``The Child Support Enforcement Division has made numerous efforts to get him to pay,'' the prosecutor said.

Thomas, 41, lost his shot at an Olympic gold medal when the United States boycotted the 1980 games. He won gold medals in floor exercise in the 1978 world championship, and in floor exercise and high bar events in the 1979 world championships. He also won a silver medal in all-around competition in the 1979 event.

In 1986, Thomas declared bankruptcy. He now operates a gymnastics school in Plano. Light said Thomas is under a 1995 court order to pay $650 a month in child support.

He was not at the school when The Associated Press called on Monday about the support case, said a woman who identified herself as his wife.

``I don't think he has a comment on that,'' she said, then hung up the telephone.

Light said a copy of the warrant for Thomas's arrest would be sent for Texas officials to serve. The prosecutor said he will move to have Thomas extradited if necessary, but prefers to resolve the case before reaching that point.

``Getting him to pay on a monthly basis is what will benefit the mother and child,'' Light said.

``I would love to give $9,000 to this family that is suffering.''

The mother of Thomas's son was identified as Jeanine Creek.

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