Christine Brennan of USA Today has an update on Olympic bronze medalist Debi Thomas. She is currently an orthopedic surgeon and is heading to Nepal to perform joint replacements.
Thomas is traveling with a non-profit volunteer organization known as Women Orthopaedist Global Outreach (wogo.org). So far, the group has raised about $200,000 of the $300,000 it needs to make the trip.
"This project is exciting to me because it really will change these people's lives," she said. "They don't have the kind of wheelchairs we're used to, and the makeshift wheelchairs they do have don't work very well on dirt roads."
Thomas, the 1986 world champion and a two-time U.S. national champion, says her Olympic experience of long ago helps her on a daily basis in medicine.
"Being an Olympian, I always have this strong belief in excellence," she said. "I'm always going to have that Olympic athlete's mentality, the feeling of 'Why can't we just do it?' I'm one of those people who always wants to find a way."
Thomas is such a great example for athletes. She will also be performing in "A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating" in Atlantic City on Dec. 11.