Brian Boitano made a name for himself in the eighties as an elite figure skater. He won the World Championships in 1986 and 1988 and also won gold during the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988. By all accounts, it was a banner year. He was one half of the “Battle of the Brians,” along with Brian Orser.
While Boitano did turn professional, he eventually returned to figure skating. He participated in the 1994 Winter Olympics, but he wasn’t as successful, only getting to sixth place. What was next for Brian Boitano? It might come as a little bit of a surprise.
For whatever else she accomplishes or does, Debi Thomas will always be remembered as the very first African-American to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. It was in the 1988 games in Calgary, and she won the bronze medal.
However, this historic moment didn't surprise many people in attendance. Thomas had already been in the top in the World Championships before. She got to the top spot in 1986. Thomas is also known for her on-ice rivalry with a fellow member of this list --Katarina Witt. This rivalry was dubbed “Battle of the Carmens” by the media.
Debi Thomas - Now
While she was still performing on the Olympic stage, Debi Thomas decided to enroll at Stanford University. Even though she was still young, she decided to end her competitive figure skating career at twenty-one. She graduated from Stanford and then moved on to medical school, choosing to become an orthopedic surgeon.
While Thomas thought that everything was going smoothly, she had actually gained a reputation for being a difficult doctor to work with, which is why she established her own private practice. That helped her for a bit, but sadly she ended up filing for bankruptcy.
Brian Boitano - Now
The real question is, what hasn't Brian Boitano done? He's had plenty of notable career moves, including acting in the Emmy Award-winning movie “Carmen on Ice.” Weirdly enough, he actually starred in the movie alongside his longtime rival, Brian Orser.
He's also had his own show on the Food Network. In the show, Boitano shows how to make food like Carne Asada, hot Italian sausage panini, and more, often with other figure skaters as guest stars. His knowledgeable and humorous approach to cooking helped make the show popular.
Nancy Kerrigan is one of the most famous names in figure skating, though not exactly for her skills on the ice. After the World Championships in 1991, Kerrigan continued winning. She won the silver three years later at the games in Lillehammer.
But, without a doubt, the reason you recognize her name is that she was the victim of a hit planned by her figure-skating rival and fellow team member Tonya Harding. In reality, it was the ex-husband of Harding who executed the hit, where he used a police baton to bash Kerrigan's landing knee. Ouch!