A CONVERSATION WITH FIGURE SKATING CHAMPION SURYA BONALY & LEA B. OLSEN
The first speaking event benefiting Rethink the Win and Her Next Play was a huge success and the start of a speaking series where athletes can share their stories of accomplishments, perseverance and disappointment. Surya Bonaly former figure skating champion was our speaker and her amazing stories of what it was like to navigate the competitive figure skating world that had never seen an athletic black athlete was both inspiring and heartbreaking.
Surya was born in Nice, France whereas an amateur athlete, she became the 9-time French National Champion, 5-time European Champion, and 3-time World silver medalist. After her amateur skating career concluded Surya moved to the United State, turned professional, and eventually became a United States Citizen.
In 2019, Surya’s amazing story was detailed in the Netflix documentary, Losers, episode 3, Judgement a series that explores the lives of heroic individuals who persevered against long odds. The episode featuring Surya focuses on her longevity on the ice, and refusal to submit to conventions.
Currently, Surya coaches figure skating in Minnesota, works with figure skating camps and is a guest coach at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School.