Gotta Love Debi Thomas!

Oh man, that girl could skate!

If anyone has ever seen better camel-spin positions, please send me a photo. Everything was just right. Dead on. I bet she even gave Peggy Fleming palpitations some days. Whoo!

I think my all-time favorite program of hers was that 1988 Olympic short program. Black unitard (to my memory). Speed. Dead-on positioning. Unbelievable. All Katarina could do was dance around the arena and hope it worked. Understand I love Katarina too. Edges in the service of spice. What nerve! Hang it all out there, girl! And I don't just mean her "Carmen" neckline....

But Debi just whaled and whipped and put on a clinic. I think I saw one bad position the whole time. Five seconds' worth. Not bad for an American girl.

But how do you become America's sweetheart if you "can't skate?" If you're only a technical powerhouse? I will always believe that -- and maybe a skate problem -- was the reason for her long-program collapse. I just don't think Alex MacGowan caught it fast enough. Am I the only one who remembers a left arm raised, perhaps to stop her, as she skated out onto the ice? It can happen to anybody. At any time. Especially with blades like that. Good blades. Debi's preference. But she was always fooling with them, trying to coax an extra bit of line, one extra inch of height out of them. Guess she decided to go for broke. Maybe they demanded it. Blades do that. Ya gotta listen. And nobody is perfect. I know I saw a slight skewing as she took her first couple of steps -- was Debi trying out another new blade placement? And then she went down. We may never know.

Just to let you know the girl can skate.

Stuff like this happens at every competition. Usually you just shut up and take your licks. But people are hollering for "the inside stories." "The truth. So here it is. More on Debi later. This is just for starters. But then it always was, with Debi.