Debra Janine Thomas (born March 25, 1967) is an American former figure skater and physician….who was the 1986 World women’s champion….which she had just won when this Jim McKay interview took place seen in this video herewith….the 1988 Olympic bronze medalist…..and a two-time U.S. national champion. Her rivalry with East Germany’s Katarina Witt at the 1988 Calgary Olympics was known as the Battle of the Carmens. Debi
After Thomas won both the 1986 U.S. national title and the 1986 World Championships….she was named ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year award that year. She was the first female athlete to win those titles while attending college full-time since Tenley Albright in the 1950’s. She was the first African-American to hold U.S. National titles in ladies’ singles figure skating….while being a pre-med student at Stanford University during this time….although it was unusual for a top U.S. skater to go to college at the same time as competing. That year she received a Candace Award for Trailblazing from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Simply put, Debi Thomas was an integral piece of figure skating history in the United States….and we at ImaSportsphile are “tickled pink” to have this video interview with ABC sports casting legend Jim McKay….as we consider each video that w have of Debi thomas to be “pure gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.