A Figure Skating Champion on the Night “All Hell Broke Loose”

On April 1, 1980, Tai Babilonia signed a contract that would eventually burn out the figure skating champion and, in turn, lead to a decadeslong problem with alcohol.

Tai tells Oprah: Where Are They Now? that she signed on with her skating partner, Randy Gardner, to perform in the traveling entertainment show Ice Capades, which required being on the road nine months out of the year. According to Tai, Randy flourished, but she stumbled.

At someone’s suggestion, Tai says, she started drinking a glass of wine before bed to help her sleep. Her dependence escalated until one night in 1988, when she took a handful of sleeping pills along with some alcohol. She survived, but her addiction stubbornly persisted. Years passed before she sobered up.

Here, Tai opens up about her long journey to sobriety.

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