Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sugar, Mar 29, 2012.
What a nice article about Surya; she looks great in the photo, too!
Surya! Great article.
Very nice! She looks awesome and hasn't aged a bit!
I absolutely loved Surya during her career. She along with Midori were the reasons why I started skating. They were part of that golden age of skating along with Tonya, Lu Chen, Kerrigan, Tara, Kristi and Oksana. I miss those days..
Some interesting reflections about the past, present and future of black skaters in that article as well.
Awesome to hear some news from Surya, I've been thinking of her a lot with Worlds in Nice
Surya sesms to always be though less of because of her lack of basics, but she brought excitement to the ice, and was a trailblazer for French ladies skating. To me Surya is just
and wow is she aging well!!!
I wonder if her mother is still alive.
My memory is dim, but I remember her jumping up incredibly high and out, but I also remember that some of her basics, like stroking, were stiff. Back flip, yes I think she got dunned for at least one. And I do remember the not accepting the silver.
Her mother wasn't THAT old! LMFAO although she may have looked it!
I seem to remember Mrs Bonaly writing SURRENDER DIDIER in the sky over Paris once.
Sometimes, I wish that figure skating had more Surya Bonalys. It'd certainly make the sport more interesting.
In light of the article I'd just like to say a big thank you to Surya Bonaly. I'm a very mixed race fella (Brazilian, English, Japanese, German and on and on lol) and I have (what you would call) a black mother. She's a very mixed kind of black, but that's for another thread lol. I remember first watching Surya Bonaly at the 1994 Olympics, and immediately identifying with her, simply because she was first person I'd seen in skating whom looked like my own mother (I was too young to know of Debi Thomas at the time) and so she was someone I immediately identified with and was drawn to.
However, I'm not the kind of guy who automatically likes something simply because of where it's from or what it looks like. I don't become an uber simply because someone is black or from England or whatever. I like to think I'm more discerning than that. I loved Surya more than just being black I liked her athleticism, her strength, the fact she wasn't afraid to be daring and different - I loved her dresses and make-up
She undoubtedly made some mistakes during her career, and didn't always go about things the way she probably should have done - I can certainly admit that. But it's because of her that I watched the ladies LP in Lillehammer, as opposed to basically just watching Torvill & Dean and then switching over, as many Brits would have done. And it's because I kept watching those Olympics that I became a fan - and I'm still watching eighteen(!!!!!!) years later!
I had the privilege to watch her live at the Birmingham worlds in 95. Even though I was (obviously) very young, I can still picture how striking she was on the ice (Going slighty OT, I also remember how beautiful Lu Chen was in her Last Emperor LP - a very underrated programme in my eyes) It was just a massive thrill to see someone I so admired in person.
I know she had her weaknesses, but it somehow didn't matter to me as a fan. It didn't even matter that much whether she won or lost, because I didn't even need her to be the best. I just loved watching her because she "spoke to me" - for here was a person I could physically identify with AND who had her own individual style. As I didn't really follow any other sports or have any particular heroes, seeing Surya was a big thing for me as a child who often felt isolated and too different from everyone else. Inspirations like that can override things like "skating skills". LOL.
So yes, I'm sorry if this has been a bit of a cheesy post - I just wanted to say merci beaucoup to Madamoiselle Bonaly and to why she was an important skater to me. I hope she realises the inspiration she's been.
Not cheesy at all--and I'm sure Surya has been an inspiration to many.
Sorry but it wasn't just 'lacking the conventional style' that kept Surya off the top of the podium. It's very easy to pull the race card. She should be grateful she medalled at all at Worlds and Europeans with such poor basics.
Yes she's still alive, she appears in a short reportage about her daughter few days ago. Unfortunately I didn't find the long version
Thank you for sharing that.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, I feel exactly the same about my favourite skaters. Skaters are human beings, we cannot and should not expect of them to be perfect at any time, and then be disappointed when they fail to fulfill the demands. For me, these incidents (moments of failure, of challenge, of disapointment) are the ones that make me identify even more with them, feeling that they have to overcome obstacles just like everyone.
I loved Surya's skating and admired her persistence and her will to fight, and I wish her all the best.
I think I saw Surya and her mother both in the stands today, they both looked so happy.
Fantastic article and she is a role model.
I've watched skating a long time and I agree with Surya about Debi Thomas being a role model. I remember Debi opening the sport of figure skating to a culture that normally did not watch the sport. Debi handled herself with such grace and dignity. Debi had to deal with the same body type questions and issues that were talked about with Surya. Both had body types that were not the normal of the figure skating community at that time. I'm sure it was similar to the existing body type discrimination with the ballet community with the body type of black dancers.
I remember Surya didn't wear figure skating tights and I wondered was it because she didn't care of them or because the skating manufacturers didn't make them in her flesh color. I remember when Debi wore tights they looked like "panty hose" she bought at a drugstore.
I remember when Peggy Fleming said Surya was "exotic" looking. I was thinking huh? She's black how is that "exotic" looking. But I'll give Peggy the benefit that maybe she was referring to her makeup or dress.
The one thing that bothered me about seeing Surya in attendance was that European or Korean hair weave she was wearing. It looked absolutely horrible sitting on top of her head. She either needs to stop wearing weaves like in her amateur days or get a weave that makes sense.
She was definitely a personality! Her skating skills aside from jumping were not great (I do not for a moment think it was racism) but she was entertaining. I remember the kooky mother too .. and all the commentators biting their tongues when talking about her mother and you alwasy wished you knew the inside scoop. Didn't she spin some fabricated tale about where Suriya was born or something then got caught in the lie?
Suriya looks great though .. wow can't believe she is 38!
Both Suzanne Bonaly and Didier Gailhaguet fabricated the story of Surya being born on Reunion Island and also the story that she had never cut her hair since birth. When Surya first burst onto the scene, her hair was all the way down to her back but styled for competition so that it wouldn't get in the way of the jumps and spins. This was all to make Surya more "exotic" and get noticed by the media and judges. Surya was really born in Nice and all of that hair they said she never cut was basically long hair that was braided into her existing hair.
Someone told me that Michelle Obama doesn't wear pantyhose.
I think she can get away with it because black skin has its own shine and you can't really tell if hose are worn or. And you don't need them because the skin already has colour - same for brown skin - whereas white skin just looks dull without hose or tights.
And really, tights/hose for white skin are not going to look good on black skin.
As african american/black woman, BW need stocking and pantyhose too. First of all, dry skin shows up more on darker skin and hyperpigmentation around joints. I remember sometimes Surya's legs look ashy.
I'm just saying.
really? I always remembered Surya having her legs well oiled up and beautifully shiny... or maybe some of the ash from her legs flew into the judges eyes and that caused them not to see that Surya should have been the true 94 world champion. Sorry Yuka , I love you but that night was all Surya's.. I won't even talk about 93 and Oksana