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If you are wondering who the most courageous and proud female on ice is, then Google Surya Bonaly. I am wildly in love with this world-renowned lady and you should be too. So get ready to flip reading these five fun facts about the ice skating world’s flipping queen!

1. She Is Worldwide

Who is a three-time world silver medalist, a five-time European champion, the 1991 World Junior Champion and a nine-time French national champion? Why Surya Bonaly of course! This French-born diva, turned American citizen in 2004 (currently living in Las Vegas, NV) and is truly in a league of her own.

2. A Little White Lie Never Hurt Nobody

Some times you have to spice things up. Bonaly was born in Nice, France in 1973 and was adopted by Georges and Suzanne Bonaly shortly after. They initially told the media that their daughter had been born on the French island of Réunion because they thought this origin sounded more “exotic,” but when Bonaly got close to 18, she decided to find out about her origin on her own. Come to find out, where she was actually from was not so “Nice.” Pun intended. Oh well, a little white lie never hurt nobody.

3. Flips On Ice & Land

Although the ice is where she landed (more intended puns), the gymnasium is where she first discovered her talents. That’s right, Bonaly was initially a competitive gymnast. No wonder she made history with her magical flipping moves. Bonaly’s famous backflip landed at the 1991 World Championships. P.S. She is the ONLY figure skater ever to do this. Not the only female, but the only person. Ever.

4. She Will Flip You Off

While Bonaly was undeniably a golden girl she consistently ended up having to look at the silver lining in competitions, always winning the silver and rarely the gold. Why you ask? Well, doing backflips is RAD in real life, but illegal in ice skating–since all jumps have to land on one blade. Bonaly is clearly proficient in this area, however after getting fed up with constantly being the victim of racism in competitions, she decided to use her talent to make a statement. How did she do it? She decided to do her “illegal” backflip during the free skate section of the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. She was deducted, but she also wanted to be sure the judges knew she didn’t care, so she turned her back to them during the score reveal. After this, she retired from amateur competition. Deuces.

5. She Will Always Be A Champion

There’s no way to ever forget Surya Bonaly and her risk-taking backflips. Many have attempted to flip like her (all males) but no one can compare. After retiring from amateur ice skating, Bonaly went on to tour with the Champions on Ice skating show for several years (until it went out of business in 2007). Her most recent performance was as a guest skater during the Ice Theatre of New York’s December 2008 gala. I bet you can guess what move she did? Her backflip of course! Duh.

Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!

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5 Fun Facts About The World’s Best Flipping Figure Skating Queen Surya Bonaly  was originally published on