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Figure Skating – 1987 – Judy Blumberg Interview USA Debi Thomas After DDR Katarina Witt Wins Worlds

Judy Blumberg is an American former competitive ice dancer…..who with partner Michael Seibert were a three-time World bronze medalist from 1983 to 1985…..the 1980 Skate Canada International champion….the 1981 Skate America champion…..and a five-time U.S. national champion from 1981 to 1985.  On the ice from the age of ten….Blumberg trained nearly three hours every morning and a few more hours following school in Tarzana, California. She switched from singles to ice dancing when she was around 19 years old.  Blumberg met Michael Seibert at the 1977 U.S. Championships in Hartford, Connecticut….and they soon tried out successfully, but delayed the partnership for a year and a half until they had both relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado.  In 2014, recalling the start of their partnership, Blumberg stated, “I knew this would be the boy I would skate with. You know when you move similar to someone, when your knees work with someone.”  

Debi Thomas placed 5th in the World Championships in 1985….and won the gold in 1986…..when  she won the short program…..and landed four triple jumps to place second in the long program ….which was enough to win the overall competition. Thomas had also won the U.S. national title besides the World Championship that year…..which earned her the 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.  Thomas was a pre-med student at Stanford University during this time….even though it was unusual for a top U.S. skater to go to college at the same time as competing.  That year Debi Thomas received a Candace Award for Trailblazing from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

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