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February 27

 

February 27, 1988

Debi Thomas Medals at Winter Olympics

On this date in 1988, figure skater Debi Thomas won the bronze medal at the XV Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. She was the first African-American -- and the first black athlete from any country -- to medal at a Winter Olympics. During her skating career, Thomas also won U.S. and world championships.

Thomas excelled in the classroom as well as on the ice. She graduated from Stanford University with an engineering degree, then studied medicine at Northwestern University. She has since completed her residency in orthopedic surgery. (At the '88 games, Katarina Witt of what was then known as East Germany won the gold medal. The silver went to Elizabeth Manley of host-country Canada.)

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