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Garrison track star, Olympian Eric Thomas dies


One of the greatest athletes to ever come out of Garrison died suddenly in Houston on Dec. 30. Eric Thomas was a 1992 graduate of Garrison High School and track star and he competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics. He finished in the top 15, competing in the 400 meter hurdles.


Garrison Mayor Keith Yarbrough says the town and the community of Garrison is mourning the death of their great star.


“Eric truly touched a lot of people here in Garrison,” he said. “You know, he went off as a pro track athlete and he would often come back home and give back to Garrison in many different ways. He had a lot of track camps set up at the high school where he would help the children and teach them different methods and stuff about running track. And he was just an all-around great guy and a good person to know.”


Thomas was just as much loved on the track as he was off, and Yarbrough says it’s been very tough on the family as well.


“You know, as far as his family goes, yeah, they are really taking it hard, as well as other people here in town because like I said, everybody here knew him because he was just that kind of a man,” Yarbrough said. “He was really friendly. Even though he was kind of a famous person, he didn’t act like that. When he came home, he was friendly to everybody. Joe Blow off the street could come up to him and hold a conversation with him and get in the car and ride with him to the store, whatever. He was just that kind of man. And so that’s why it’s having such an impact on the citizens here in Garrison because he was well known by everybody in town.”


The cause of death has yet to be determined. Friends and family believe it was caused by complications from a hip replacement surgery that Thomas recently underwent.

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