Debi Thomas, a former Olympic skater and doctor, is now living in poverty in a trailer park in the Appalachian Mountains.

Debi Thomas’ Fall From Grace

Thomas sat down with Iyanla Vanzant on the Oprah Winfrey Network show Fix My Life. In the interview, Thomas opened up about feeling frustrated with the current state of her life.

“[I feel] frustrated,” Thomas told Vanzant, breaking down in tears.

Vanzant, incredulous that Thomas is merely “frustrated,” asked her, “Not sad, not angry, not ashamed?” adding, “Not guilty that you’ve got a man, two kids and a bedbug infestation in a trailer. Frustration is what you feel? Nothing else?”

Thomas, who made history as the first African American to win the women’s title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, spoke about how she lives in the run-down, bed bug-infested trailer with her fiancé and his two children. Missing from the home, however, is her own son.

“This is what I know: You’re living in a trailer in the Appalachian Mountains and your son ain’t with you!” Vanzant said in the episode. “You’re raising somebody else’s children!”

Thomas took the figure skating world by storm in the late 80s, becoming the World Champion in 1986, a two-time-U.S. national champion and capturing the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Games. Following her skating career, Thomas returned to college to become an orthopedic surgeon, and had been practicing medicine as recent as a few years ago.



Read more about: