Bonaly, born in Nice (but some sources say on Réunion Island), was adopted by a white French family. She began ice skating aged 10, but was already a trampoline champion (she won the world trampoline championship aged 12).
As a figure skater (her mother is one of her coaches) she has won the European Championship (1991-95), Trophée de France (1994), the French national championship (1989-96), and came fourth in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Miller, David. "Albertville Serves up a Taste of Games to Come," The Times [London], 8 February 1992, p. 30