William Thoresson

  • Sweden

His biggest gymnastics thrill came in Helsinki, in 1952, the first of his four Olympics. With a preliminary score of 9.45, and a finals score of 9.8, Thoresson won the Olympic gold on floor exercise.

Not one to forget his roots, he returned to Sweden, where he worked for the next 24 years in an elementary school in his home town of Gothenburg.

William Thoresson’s passion for gymnastics began in his hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden. Born in May of 1932, he discovered gymnastics at the young age of 10, as a member of the Gothenburg Turners. 

After nine years of training, Thoresson placed 7th in his first Swedish Championships, in 1951. Then, between 1953 and 1957, he won the Swedish Championships five times.

His biggest gymnastics thrill came in Helsinki, in 1952, the first of his four Olympics. With a preliminary score of 9.45, and a finals score of 9.8, Thoresson won the Olympic gold on floor exercise. Four years later, at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia, he repeated as a medalist, and brought home the Olympic silver on floor exercise.

His long competitive career and success continued, as he competed and won a bronze medal on floor in the 1954 World Championships in Rome, as well as a total of five medals over the course of three European Championships. 

Mr. Thoresson has spent much of his working life as a teacher and a coach, including a six-year stint in Caracas, Venezuela.  Not one to forget his roots, he returned to Sweden, where he worked for the next 24 years in an elementary school in his home town of Gothenburg. 

Today, Mr. William Thoresson still plays golf, exercises, and says that he will never stop doing gymnastics. 

1952 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Gold Medalist & Olympic Champion:
    • Floor Exercise

1956 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Bronze Medalist:
    • Floor Exercise

1954 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Silver Medalist:
    • Floor Exercise

2001 INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAME

  • Inducted as a member of the Class of 2001

Induction Speech Video