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Almost 30 years ago, Debi Thomas was a decorated ice skater who won a bronze medal in the 1986 Olympic Games to become the first African-American to medal in a Winter Olympics. Afterwards, she went to Stanford and ultimately became an orthopedic surgeon.

Today, the 48-year-old doctor is living in a trailer park with an alcoholic and has lost custody of her teenage son.

Two costly divorces, unemployment and bankruptcy left Thomas living in a bug-infested trailer with her current fiancé and his two young sons, reduced to asking for money via a GoFundMe account to support a reality TV show.

Vanzant traveled to a small town in Virginia to work with the former Olympic figure skater. But while trying to get a better understanding of what went wrong, Vanzant realizes that Thomas, 48, may be her own worst enemy. The two have a deep discussion about Thomas’ personal triumphs and tragedies, as well as her failed relationship with her son.

While standing outside her trailer home,  Thomas leans on Vanzant for support during an emotional breakthrough.

“You don’t have to do it by yourself this time,” she  tells Thomas. “And you didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I did the best I could,” Debi says. “I feel like I’m hurting people that I care about.”

Iyanla tells Debi that the person she’s hurting the most is herself.

“You can’t help anybody until you can help you,” Iyanla says.

Watch the ultra emotional exchange below.


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12 thoughts on “Olympic Skater Debi Thomas’ Epic Fall Explored On ‘Iyanla, Fix My Life’ [VIDEO]

  1. specialt757 on said:

    It’s very unfortunate that Ms.Thomas allowed her current circumstances. These are her problems to own, she is the only one that can bring about change. But first she must decide that’s what she wants. ”If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve been getting” God doesn’t force people to come to him, he gave us all free will. HE’s just waiting for US to call on him.

  2. treline on said:

    She’s got mental issues plus a serious addiction to white men. She needs to get over her self hatred. Get a nice black man and settle down debbie.

    • Timothy Green on said:

      why is the color of the men that interest her an issue?!?!? … as long as he treats her right & is a good man why does his color matter?!?! .. blacks can’t talk about how racist “these whitefolks are” but harbor the SAME ignorant racist views as “them” .. she can find her just as many shitty black men as she has found whites, & her life would be just as fucked up …. I only date in shape black women but that’s MY PREFERENCE last time i checked we’re all allowed to have those

  3. Timekeeeper on said:

    That is on the real Timothy. All too often we hear “the brothers aint no good” mantra from too many people. When in fact, bad behavior does indeed come in all flavors and genders. I am sorry to hear about Thomas’ downfall, but that doesn’t mean someone else is responsible. Although personally I do not believe Van Zant can fix anybody’s life. When you are that deep in despair, skip the talk show host you need Jesus Christ.
    If anyone an fix it, he can.

    • straightnochaser on said:

      I believe that ‘Fix My Life’ is a play on words. Iyanla does stress on each show that you have to do the work if you want to make changes. Even the bible says faith without works is dead. Jesus won’t be able to help her either until she is willing to change because he clearly gave each of a choice in making that decision.

      • Timekeeeper on said:

        Hi straightnochaser.
        The last thing I will do is get into a heated discussion on this site about scripture. But your interpretation about faith & works is misdiagnosed. Ms. Thomas doesn’t appear to have either. If she did she would have bypassed Ms. Vanzant in the first place. That would have shown both faith and works at the same time. As for the name of the show, If this is indeed a play on words then it is a bad, bad choice. Too many over the years, movie stars as well as ordinary people have tried replacing the alter for a couch.
        That is the problem. To many would rather have the sympathy of public opinion over anything else. Jesus CAN help her, as well as anyone else if they went to him rather than a TV talk show host.

    • straightnochaser on said:

      To your reply, since you don’t want to ‘get into a heated (??) discussion’ over my initial reply, which was not heated on my part, I respectfully say to you BYE FELICIA AND GOD BLESS YOU!

  4. Timothy Green on said:

    Cant feel sorry for someone that makes TERRIBLE decision after TERRIBLE decision, as she clearly has …… don’t know why some other commenters are “concerned” with the color of men she chooses to be with though, shitty companions come in all genders & colors

  5. psnthersdec on said:

    Since folks say black women need to date white men to expand their dating options. No thanks I don’t do Duck Dynasty ins lice infested trailer parks.

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