Debi Thomas is completely broke and living in a bed bug-infested trailer park where she’s begging former fans for money. The Olympic bronze medal skater revealed that she’s more than $600,000 in debt, according to Radar Online.
Thomas, 48, hit rock bottom nearly 30 years after becoming the first African American to win the woman’s title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Debi has nothing left from her days of becoming the 1988 Olympic bronze medalist.
“(I feel) frustrated,” the she says before breaking down in tears in an emotional TV episode that aired Saturday on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She had faced “crippling life challenges” from two divorces left her family broke and forced her to shut down her medical practice in Virginia.
Debi Thomas was so desperate that she started a GoFundMe page about 10 months ago, but failed to raise even a quarter of what she had hoped. She is now living in a run-down mobile home in the Appalachian Mountains with her fiancé, who has admitted to having alcohol and anger issues, and his two children. She lost custody of her 13-year-old son.
Feeling doubtful about her future, she shared her story on the OWN Network’s “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” She spoke openly about her money troubles and her finance’s issues.
She then spoke recently with ABC News and said her relationship with Looney has only gotten stronger since speaking with Iyanla Vanzant 10 months ago.
“We figured it out,” Thomas said. “Do we still push each others’ buttons sometimes? Yes,” Debi added.
They are now reaching for help through a crowd-sourcing campaign, chronicling their troubles in hopes that others avoid a similar fate.
The Poughkeepsie, New York native pursued a medical degree after graduating from Stanford University in 1991 and soon after became an orthopedic surgeon. She lays out a list of ambitious prospective projects she had hoped to complete in the fundraising page that collected about $2,000 out of the $10,000 goal.
“What we need now is help keeping our heads above water until we can make our dreams a reality,” she pleads in a video posted on the GoFundMe page.
Debi Thomas now hopes to star in her own reality TV show. Olympians are people. Olympians get arrested, and, sometimes they go broke.