It’s how Debi Thomas described figure skating.

“My mother introduced me to many different things, and figure skating was one of them,” Thomas said. “I just thought that it was magical having to glide across the ice.”

It’s what people said when she became the first African American medalist in the Winter Olympics.

Thomas was a pioneer for Black women in figure skating — but more broadly, a pioneer for all Black athletes.

Debi Thomas began skating at the age of five, and won her first competition at nine years old. From then on she was hooked.

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