Tonya Knight, a legendary figure in the world of female bodybuilding sadly passed away on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023. She was an inspiration to many and her death came as a shock to the entire bodybuilding community. The cause of her death is still shrouded in mystery, with many speculating about the cause that led to her passing.
Keep reading the article to know more about Tonya Knight, including who he was, how he died, what was the cause of his death, tributes for Tonya Knight, and a lot more things you should know!
Who Was Tonya Knight?
Tonya Knight was born on March 24, 1966, and grew up in Peculiar, Missouri, United States. She was always athletic and was involved in sports from a young age. After high school, she decided to pursue a career in bodybuilding and quickly rose to prominence in the sport. With her muscular physique and confident attitude, she quickly became one of the most popular and recognizable female bodybuilders of her time.
Tonya Knight’s rise to fame was not without its challenges. As a woman in a male-dominated sport, she faced sexism and discrimination at every turn. But she was determined to succeed and she worked tirelessly to hone her craft, building her body into a work of art. Her dedication and hard work paid off when she won several major bodybuilding championships and became a household name in the sport.
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After being married and relocating close to Kansas City, Missouri, Tonya Knight concentrated on raising her son Malachi following a divorce. Working as a personal trainer and providing hair and cosmetics for competitors allowed her to be active in the bodybuilding community. She also kept up her clean eating and weight training. Knight remained a model of how to successfully integrate masculinity and femininity far into her fifth decade.
After IFBB officials presented compelling evidence that Tonya had gotten test-passing urine from someone other than herself, Tonya acknowledged to sending a surrogate to submit to a mandatory drug test that was conducted prior to the 1988 M.s Olympia, where she placed fourth. She was ordered to return her $12,000 prize money from the 1989 M.s International and 1988 M.s Olympia as well as be suspended, with the 1989 M.s International title going to Jackie Paisley, who finished in second place.
She proudly returned to the stage in 1991 after the scandal, taking home the Ms. International crown without incident. Only two more professional competitions, the last of which took place in 1993, saw her compete. From 1989 until 1992, Tonya played the part of Gold regularly on American Gladiators until she was forced to leave due to a left knee injury.
How Did Tonya Knight Die? Cause of Death Explained
A highly acclaimed bodybuilder and an inspiration to many, Tonya Knight sadly passed away on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023. Reportedly, Tonya Knight died after a long battle with cancer.
Her death left a huge hole in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. However, she continues to live on with her legacy and she will always be remembered as one of the greatest female bodybuilders of all time.
One of Tonya’s friends Rachel McLish confirmed her death through a Facebook post and she also issued a statement, saying
“My beloved buddy Tonya Knight, one of bodybuilding’s brightest and most priceless stars, is now at peace. She continuously reached out, texted, called, and kept in touch with us to let us know about her battle with “C” and to make sure we were taking care of ourselves. She was loved by many people and served as their mother, daughter, sister, friend, and a great athlete.
Tributes for Tonya Knight
Tonya Knight’s death was a great loss to the bodybuilding community and the world at large. Tonya Knight will always be remembered as a true inspiration to us all. Many of her fans and colleagues took to social media to send condolences and sympathies to Tonya’s friends and family.
Gladiators tweeted, “We regret to inform you that renowned American Gladiator and bodybuilder Gold passed away (Tonya Knight). All of her friends and family are in our prayers. Peace be with you, Golden Girl.”
Jimmy Goodson mentioned, “We were deeply saddened to learn of the demise of Tonya Knight, “Gold” of American Gladiators fame and IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Champion. Her family and friends have my sincere condolences.”
Teri prayed for her, and said, “Steal Tonya Knight, also known as Gold. I started bodybuilding in the 1980s because of you. Fly higher, Tonya”
Tonya’s dedication, hard work, and positive attitude inspired many to pursue their own dreams and reach for the stars. Although she is no longer with us, her legacy lives on, and she will always be remembered as a true champion in the sport of bodybuilding. Visit our website frequently to read similar articles, and don’t forget to leave a remark with your good wishes and prayers for Tonya Knight’s friends and family as they navigate this tough time.