Debi Thomas' return to competition (in figures & fancy skating)


Local Milwaukee article+video (May 3, 2024):
"Figure skating has changed a lot over the years, if you haven’t noticed," Debi Thomas remarked. "Getting that nostalgic look is something I think a lot of people who’ve enjoyed skating would like to see more of."
Thomas is advocating for figure and fancy skating, reminiscent of the Olympic figure skating that was discontinued [in 1990] after Thomas competed in Calgary.
"I was in the last Olympics where they had figures. I finally realized we could be at a point where it could be an extinct art form," Thomas reflected.
Now, the 1988 bronze medalist eyes a comeback at age 57.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was about 192 pounds when I started the journey last year. I had to get into that mode of training and eating right," Thomas shared.
Just over a month ago, Debi shared a video of her training “two new figures selected for the 10th Anniversary of the World Figure & Fancy Skating Championships. I’m doomed 😩😂” [scheduled to take place October 9-13, 2024 on black ice again in Lake Placid, NY]:

USFS' Skater Spotlight article, published in January 26, 2024, featured Debi Thomas' official return to competition last October:
Now 56 years old, Thomas has come full circle. She embarked on her latest challenge: competing at the 2023 World Figure and Fancy Skating Championships on black ice in Lake Placid, New York, last fall.
Nothing, she said, compares to how she felt taking on this monumental challenge after having not competed in figures for 35 years or skating at all in 12 years. She was the winner of the last two figures ever skated at the Olympic Winter Games in 1988. Encouraged by her close friend and avid figures and fancy skating proponent Shepherd Clark, Thomas made the bold decision to compete in the ninth annual event, held at the historic 1932 rink where the first U.S.-held Olympic Winter Games took place.
Thomas’ debut at the World Figure and Fancy Skating Championships hopefully will help inspire other former elite-level skaters, top athletes and avid competitors to give the championships a try, she said, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in October, again in Lake Placid. This year also marks the 100-year anniversary of the first Olympic Winter Games, in which figures was a contested event.
“Landing my Axel in my fancy skating was huge for me and huge for the championships because there really hadn’t been a skater with a World title and Olympic medal who has had the guts to come in and do this competition,” Thomas, who lives in Florida, said. “There have been people who have considered it and they are like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is too hard, what’s at stake, what if I don’t win, and all of those things that go through people’s minds.
For those interested, link to last year's GSD thread that includes video links:
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