Former Olympian-Turned-Doctor Now Lives In Bug Infested Mobile Home
In a preview clip of OWN network’s “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” bronze medalist Debi Thomas sits down with host Iyanla Vanzant in the season finale that everyone has been talking about.
Thomas reached climatic fame in the 1988 Olympics after winning the bronze medal, and later went on to become a doctor. The world class athlete turned doctor’s life, however, took a devastating turn after a bitter divorce changed her life forever.
“Today I meet you in a trailer that’s overcrowded and infested with bed bugs,” Vanzant tells Thomas in the preview, which takes place in the trailer home of the former Olympian, where she resides with a new fiancee and his two children. “Are you aware that your life has become unmanageable?” Vanzant asks.
Thomas, who has lost custody of her own 13-year-old boy in the aftermath of her downward spiral after reaching Olympic fame, will share her trials and tribulations with the host, including her tumultuous and financially painful divorce.
Being the first African American to win a medal at 1988’s Winter Olympics,Thomas rocked the world of figure skating and opened the doors for African-American figure skaters worldwide. Thomas later went on to study and become an orthopedic surgeon – even working at her own practice before she was forced to shut down after the financially burdening divorce she endured.
Thomas now lives in squalor in the Appalachian Mountains.
When being pressed on how she copes with her current living condition, Thomas admits that she gets “a little frustrated.” Vanzant sets out to help the former Olympian by forcing her to confront a harsh series of truths.
Although Vanzant has been known for this show, she first got her start when she would appear on The Oprah Show in the early 2000’s, before the development of the OWN network. Many have both praised and condemned the series, with critics scoffing that lives are not being changed, but exposed for the world’s maudlin appetite. You be the judge.