Who remembers Surya Bonaly hitting her ‘Backflip’ during her performance at the 1998 Nagano Olympics???
Yoooo, that is crazy!
I recall Bonaly and thinking she’s not American but proud to see another Black figure skater after Debie Thomas. Unlike Thomas and other skaters during that time Bonaly was very athletic from a gymnastic background. She had a combination of speed and power, but she did not fit the typical mold of the “Ice Princess” skater, and it hurt her scores at times. This all came to a head in 1994 at the Ladies World Championship.
For the judges Bonaly was just a jumper and the judges from the ISU went with the Ice Princess. Bonaly in defiance, refused to stand on the podium for 2nd place and even took off the medal during the ceremony.
That moment basically set the stage for the 1998 Olympics. The odds were already against Bonaly as she was recovering from an Achilles injury going into 98 Olympics, but she wanted to leave her mark as she was closing out her ice-skating career.
In her final performance, Bonaly struggled thru her short program and a slow start to her free skate put any chance for a medal out of reach.
“That was my last Olympics, and pretty much my last competition ever,”
“I wanted to leave a trademark.”
“I wanted to do something to please the crowd, not the judges,”
“The judges are not pleased no matter what I do, and I knew I couldn’t go forward anyway, because everybody was skating so good.”
Props to Bonaly, for standing up for herself and for being a damn good figure skater that deserves more props for what she accomplished in the world of figure skating.
If you get a chance, checkout the ESPN short ‘Rebel On Ice’
If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!