Former Olympic Figure Skater Now A Doctor

The first African-American to win a medal in any winter Olympic sport is now a doctor in Terre Haute.

At the age of 5, Debi Thomas knew two things, she wanted to be a doctor and she wanted to be an Olympic figure skater. She accomplished both.

“It was a serious goal. It was a lot of work and a lot of commitment. I look back and I think wow I did that,” says Dr. Debi Thomas.

Thomas first learned about skating when her mom took her to an ice show..By nine, she was competing competitively and winning.

“I came in first during my first competition and I guess I was hooked.”

By 19-86.. the California native had won both the US and World Figure Skating Championships,  all while attending the academically challenging, Stanford University. And then came the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary Canada.

Thomas hoped for the skate of her life and was predicted by many to bring home the gold,  but she could not overcome the pressure she felt from the outside world and from within herself. In the end, she won the bronze.

‘It would have been happy with the bronze medal if I had skated my best. It wasn’t about about the gold medal and a lot of people don’t understand that.” Read more at

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