We often wonder what happened to our favorite celebrities and sports stars from the past. After all, they were a part of our lives for some time! The answer may surprise you- many are still making waves in today’s world as we speak; others have recently passed on or retired entirely from active duty with us not knowing it yet…
The following is a bio of Tonya Knight, an American Gladiator from 1989-1992 known by her Gold persona on the show. She participated in competitions with some skilled opponents from all over the world. This was not just any other battle though; it took place across America in front of everyone’s eyes, which victory was all that more impressive.
Who is Tonya Knight?
Tonya Knight is an actress, body builder & model & she played “Gold” on the game-show “American Gladiators” from 1989 to 1992.
She was born on March 24, 1966 in Peculiar, Missouri and attended Fort Osage High School. She was a steallar athelete in high school and played baseball, basketball, volleyball and ran track.
Tonya Knight got motivated to start bodybuilding during high school when she saw a photo of Rachel McLish on a fitness magazine and she wanted to look exactly like her.
Standing in at 5’8" and weighing 160 pounds of pure muscle, Tonya was one of the top female professional bodybuilders of her day and won many prestigious contests, including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s IFBB Ms. International 1991 and she won fourth place at a Ms. Olympia event.
Did Tonya Knight Use Steroids?
Tonya Knight has often expressed her opposition to steroids, believing that they were often used as shortcuts by people unwilling to put in the hard work that bodybuilding required.
Additionally, she stated that they can’t be as good as people like to think, since you don’t see "100 Arnold Schwarzenegger walking around" for a reason.
However, in 1988 she admitted to sending a surrogate to take a drug test for her 1988 Ms. Olympia competition, resulting in her suspension.
She ultimately returned to win her title. However, she is still the only Ms. International title winner to lose one of her titles.
She retired from professional bodybuilding in 1993 and was inducted into the bodybuilding Hall of Fame in 2011.
What Is American Gladiators?
The show that would go on to be known as "American Gladiators" was first envisioned by producer Sam Goldwyn, but someone else submitted the idea of a bodybuilding competition before him. He liked this proposal so much he combined their two concepts into one fantastic TV series!
The premise of American Gladiators is that two men and two women (all competitors) would engage in athletic competitions such as jousting, obstacle courses, or tug-of-war. Each event was scored by a panel of judges who awarded points to whichever team won that particular round with the highest scores at the end winning out for champion gladiator status!
The show’s immense influence was felt not only in inspiring people to enter the fitness industry but also in giving us phrases like "going into Gladiators’ position." Additionally, it raised opportunities for women beyond just being eye candy figures.
American Gladiators aired on NBC beginning in 1989 until 1993, concluding with an impressive seven seasons of broadcasts – this would be its final run on the network. The show had some incredible gladiators over time that stood out among others including Wolf, Ice, Gemini, Zap, Hawk, and Mercury to mention a few.
Tonya Knight and American Gladiators
Tonya got her start on American Gladiators as a replacement for Sunny and she would go on to compete in season 1-3.
Gold quickly became one of the most dangerous gladiators on the show, taking down contenders with ease.
Tonya’s best event was Powerball. The game was a race against time as the two contenders tried to score five points by placing their balls in one of three bins. Each contender had only 45 seconds to put a ball in a bin.
The event was one of the most difficult but most enjoyable for audiences to watch.
Her Powerball success made her stand out from other gladiators on the show.
During season 3, Tonya suffered an injury and she was replaced by Debbie Clark, also known as Storm, who went on to feature in the show from 1991 to 1993.
Injuries may have ended her Gladiator career, but not before she left an incredible legacy behind on the show!
Tonya Knight Now
After American Gladiators, Tonya continued bodybuilding, personal training and modeling.
When she retired from bodybuilding in 2015, she pursued a career in cosmetology and enrolled in Sam Brown’s Cosmetology Institute.
After graduating from cosmetology school she started Stage Ready Hair and Makeup, a company that prepares bodybuilders to look their best during fitness competitions.
Tonya went on to marry American Gladiator Atlas’ twin brother, John Poteat. They later divorced and John Poteat has since passed away.
Tonya currently lives in Overland Park, Kansas.
She has a son named Malachi, who she loves dearly.
In her spare time she advcoates for animal rights and helps find homes for abused or neglected animals.
Other American Gladiators You Might Be Interested In: