Twenty six years ago in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, during the 1988 Winter Olympics an American figure skater named Debi Thomas made history. At the time of the competition she was the first American black female to hold U.S. National titles in ladies’ singles figure skating.
Thomas is the only African American who ever won a medal in the Olympics in figure skating. She is the first African American to win a medal in any Winter Olympic sport.
Debra J. Thomas, now a private practice medical professional since 2010, began her figure skating career in 1983 when she represented the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.
Thomas was winner of the 1986 U.S. national title and the 1986 World Championships; those achievements earned Thomas the ABC’s teevee network’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year award in 1986. Thomas was the first female athlete to win those titles while attending college full-time. More