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BY Bridget Boakye, 1:58pm February 21, 2018,

Meet unmatched figure skating legend Surya Bonaly who stood for her rights

Surya Bonaly

As the world comes off the Winter Olympics high as the events close this weekend and tennis superstar Serena Williams returns to the court, many are thinking of other world champions who have faced tremendous feats in the world of sports.

One South African writer Khaya Dlanga brought figure skater Surya Bonaly‘s story to the fore on twitter yesterday and it struck a cord to many. Bonaly is the only Olympic figure skater to land a backflip on only one blade which she performed at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.


A little more about Bonaly: She was born in France, and adopted by parents who gave her the name Surya Bonaly at 18 months. As a 2014 feature about her on Huffington Post highlighted, she has always been a crowd favorite, with exceptional style both on the ice and in her outfits and makeup.

In addition to her many medals and accolades, she has been extremely vocal about race and unfair treatment in the sport. In an interview where she was asked if her race affected her career? Bonaly said, “if I’d been white, I would have had more [endorsement] contracts and been bigger.” This was also evident when she famously removed the silver medal from her neck during the medal ceremony at the World Championships in 1994 after winning second place when she believed she deserved first.

Now 45, she continues to skate and coach around the world.

Meet unmatched figure skating legend Surya Bonaly who stood for her rights

Check out some Twitter reactions to Bonaly’s story below:

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: September 15, 2018


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