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Bronze Medal To Bankrupt! Inside Debi Thomas' Downward Spiral

Olympic Ice Skater Debi Thomas Bankruptcy Debt
Source: Splash News

Nov. 10 2015, Updated 8:01 a.m. ET

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Former Olympic ice skater, Debi Thomas has fallen on hard times! After becoming the first African American woman to win a medal at the Winter games with her bronze in 1988, she has been forced to file for bankruptcy after falling more than $600,000 in debt.

More than twenty years after her iconic victory, Thomas revealed her secret troubles to fans last week on OWN network's Fix My Life. Shockingly, Thomas told host Iyanla Vanzant she was broke and living in a bed bug infested trailer, with her fiancé, James Looney.

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How did she end up that way?

Court documents obtained by show the one-time champion and successful orthopedic surgeon filed for bankruptcy in 2014, after a costly second divorce.

According to the documents obtained exclusively by, Thomas had a mortgage on a house in Virginia, and two vacation time shares, in Lake Tahoe and Puerto Vallarta.

READ The Humiliating Court Documents

Among her possessions, the bronze Olympic medal won at the Calgary Winter Games in 1988, she valued at $2,200. She said she had a negative balance of $78.00 in her bank account.

Debts included $100,00 to the IRS, $276,000 to a mortgage lender, state taxes of $49,000, $10,000 in outstanding rent for her medical practice and $150,000 for unpaid credit card bills.

Monthly income at the time of the filing was $500 for speaking engagements, with her monthly expenses totaling $1,500.

Currently living in the Appalachian Mountains in a mobile home, the 48-year-old lost custody of her son five years ago, when he was 13. He is now in college.

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Thomas said she has no desire to return to medicine, and hopes to get a reality show. Desperate to make her dreams reality, Thomas launched a campaign online to raise funds.

"What we need now is help keeping our heads above water until we can make our dreams a reality," she stated on the GoFundMe page, which has raised $4,919 of the requested $10,000 so far.

In an interview with Good Morning America on Monday, Thomas revealed she still doesn't have a job, but her fiancé Looney has been sober for six months.

The chapter 7 bankruptcy was formally discharged on May 5, 2015.



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