Now that the Tokyo Olympics are well underway, the profiles of many American athletes are receiving a boost. As track and field events get started, the spotlight has shined on Gabby Thomas, who has already run one of the fastest 200-meter times in history. Gabby is a talented sprinter, but fans are also interested in her personal background, including who her parents are.
Who are Gabby Thomas' parents?
Gabby is currently 24, and she was born in Atlanta to Jennifer Randall and Desmond Thomas. She also has a twin brother, Andrew. Jennifer is an academic, and she moved the family to Massachusetts in 2007 after she completed her Ph.D. at Emory University. Jennifer currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts, where she is the Director of Evaluation for the Center for Educational Assessment. Desmond, meanwhile, doesn't seem to be a public figure, and little is known about his career.
What was Gabby's major at Harvard?
Not only is Gabby one of the fastest women in the world, but she's also a Harvard alumnus. Gabby studied neurobiology and global health as an undergraduate student, and she also won 22 conference titles across six different events during her three years as a college athlete. She went pro in lieu of competing collegiately during her senior year, and also signed a contract with New Balance.
Gabby is currently working toward in master's degree in epidemiology at the University of Texas at Austin. She moved to Texas in 2018 to train and qualified for the 200-meter dash in June during the US qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics. During those Olympic trials, Gabby ran the second-fastest 200-meter ever at 21.61 seconds. That time is second only to Florence Griffith Joyner's record, which was set back in 1984.
Even Gabby was surprised by her time.
After running that record-setting time, Gabby admitted that she was surprised by her own speed. “I am still in shock. I can’t believe I put up that time,” she told NBC Sports after the run. “Definitely has changed how I view myself as a runner.”
The women's 200-meter finals are scheduled for Aug. 3, with preliminary races in the days leading up.
Gabby's name may not have been one that most people knew ahead of Tokyo, but if she manages to put up a time as fast as the one she ran during qualifiers, she may be able to medal in the race. Whether she goes home with a gold medal or not, though, it seems that Gabby is well set up for a future that doesn't need to have anything to do with athletics.
Not every Olympian has a Harvard degree to fall back on, but it seems that Gabby has talents that lay well outside the realm of track and field. Getting a degree in epidemiology during a global pandemic also suggests that she may have a vital role to play in preventing the outbreak of future pandemics, or in studying the ways in which they spread across the globe. First, though, Gabby has some races to run.