Florence’s Gabby Thomas gearing up for 2024 Paris Olympics

Florence’s Gabby Thomas (right), seen sitting next to Team USA fencer Lee Keifer at the Team USA Media Summit in New York City on Tuesday, is gearing up for the track and field Olympic qualifiers coming in June.

Florence’s Gabby Thomas (right), seen sitting next to Team USA fencer Lee Keifer at the Team USA Media Summit in New York City on Tuesday, is gearing up for the track and field Olympic qualifiers coming in June. PHOTO BY JOSHUA SPAULDING

By JOSHUA SPAULDING

For the Gazette

Published: 04-17-2024 3:37 PM

NEW YORK — Gabby Thomas has an Olympic experience under her belt and two Olympic medals she can wear around her neck. And as she gears up for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials ahead of the Paris Olympics, she took part in the Team USA Media Summit on Tuesday in New York City.

The former Easthampton resident and graduate of Williston Northampton School was part of a panel on the power of women at the three-day media event.

Thomas won a silver medal as part of the Team USA 4x100-meter relay team and a bronze medal in the 200 meter dash at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August of 2021. Two years later she and her 4x100-meter teammates won gold at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, where she also finished second in the 200 meters. She is also a two-time U.S. champion in the 200 meters, winning in 2021 and 2023.

In Tuesday’s Team USA Media Summit panel, she spoke about how U.S. Track and Field has done a good job of promoting female athletes as they chase their dreams. Paris will be the first time that there are an equal number of gold medals for men and women in track and field and will also be the most gender-equal Olympics in history.

“The best part of track and field is there’s an equalizer there. We’re doing the same sport and have the ability to make the same in our sport and have the same media opportunities,” she said. “I think we’re on the top of the game as far as gender equality and hope that every sport can get there.”

She also noted that she has seen first-hand all that women can do on the track and is excited to be part of a strong group of women on Team USA.

“I grew up watching incredible women running, watching these powerhouse women doing amazing jobs on the track,” Thomas said. “I continue to see that every day in my competitors, my training partners and my teammates.”

It was also recently announced that gold medalist in track and field events will receive $50,000 from World Athletics. The governing body of track and field said it was setting aside more than $2 million to pay the gold medalists in the men’s, women’s and mixed events on the track and field program for the Paris Olympics. Relay teams will split the $50,000 between their members and payments for silver and bronze medalists are planned to start from the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

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“I love that track and field is pioneering this,” Thomas said. “This is amazing, we’ve been talking about paying athletes for their hard work for a while.

“Support is so important, any time you can have any type of support it’s great,” she continued. “This is all often done with hope, dreams and effort.”

Thomas is gearing up for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which will take place June 21-30 in Eugene, Ore.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at josh@salmonpress.news