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Debi Thomas - African American Figure Skating Champion and Legend


Debi Thomas

Debi Thomas

Photo Courtesy of Harlick Skating Boots

First African American Ladies Figure Skating Champion:

Debi Thomas was the first African American to win the Championship event at the United States National Figure Skating Championships. She won the title in both 1986 and 1988.

Olympic Bronze Medalist:

Thomas is the only African American who ever won a medal in the Olympics in figure skating. She medaled at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games which took place in Calgary, Canada.

World Figure Skating Champion:

In 1986. Debi Thomas won the World Figure Skating Championships.

Date of Birth:

Debi Thomas was born on March 25, 1967.


Both of Debi's parents are computer professionals and her brother is an astrophyscist. She has been married twice. She has one son.

Began Skating Because of Ice Show Comedian Mr. Frick:

Debi Thomas credits legendary ice skating show Mr. Frick as being the person who inspired her to give figure skating a try.

'My mother introduced me to many different things, and figure skating was one of them. I just thought that it was magical having to glide across the ice. I begged my mom to let me start skating. My idol was the comedian Mr. Frick, formerly of Frick and Frack. I would be on the ice, "Look mom, I'm Mr. Frick." When I went to my first world championship, I mentioned the story, and Mr. Frick saw it on TV. He sent me a letter and we met at Geneva when I won the world championship.'


Thomas attended Stanford University. She graduated in 1991. Then she went to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and graduated 1997.

During her freshman year at Stanford, Thomas won both the United States National and World Figure Skating titles.

Professional Skating Career:

After the 1988 Olympics, Debi Thomas skated as a professional. She won three world professional titles and skated with Stars on Ice. After four years, she left professional skating to attend medical school.


Debi Thomas was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000.

Debi Thomas - Physician:

Debi Thomas is now an orthopedic surgeon.

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