What's the classic image of Tonya Harding that springs to mind for most people?
We'll venture to guess it's one that's not very pleasant. It's Tonya the Terrible, the figure skater from Hell, the ne plus ultra of selfishness & bad sportsmanship. It's an image of somebody so ambitious, so greedy and with such a lust for winning that she'll do anything - absolutely anything - no matter how dirty, low-down, cowardly & nasty just to get her filthy, grubby, blood-stained little fingers on that Olympic gold medal. You can just picture her now, can't you, skating around, clutching it to her bosom and screaming "It's mine, it's mine, it's all mine!".
It's someone whose entourage consists of a motley ensemble of violent goons, an unsavory cross between the casts of "Goodfellas" and "Reservoir Dogs", eager to help carry out her evil, disgusting schemes to rule the world of figure skating.
It's a young woman whose principal interests are figure skating and ultraviolence.
It's someone who is, indeed, as cold as the ice she skates upon.
We aim to show you a much different side of Tonya Harding than the cliched, two-dimensional comic-book villainess depicted above. We'll show you a courageous young lady who has overcome poverty, abuse and asthma to become one of the world's greatest figure skaters, one of only two women who have ever completed the difficult Triple Axel jump in a competition. We'll show how a vicious and evil man, unwittingly aided by dim-witted people at the sport's official US sanctioning body, managed to destroy that career. We'll examine the evidence for Tonya's role in the attack on a rival skater, and show it doesn't cut much ice. We'll reveal the REAL reason why so many people hate Tonya Harding, and the hypocrisy that she has been subjected to, especially when compared to other prominent sports figures. We'll expose how there's a deliberate, organized conspiracy amongst the top figure skating elite to deny Tonya her rightful place on the ice. And if, after reading all this, you, like us, conclude that Tonya has been dished out a raw deal, we'll show you what you can do about it.
The Portland Ice Skating Society was founded in the fall of 1996 to fill what we saw as a gaping lack of accurate, positive information about Tonya Harding on the Internet at the time. We started off with "The Portlandian", a newsletter about Tonya published to various skating newsgroups. Thankfully, the situation has improved since then, and there are now several other quality Web sites devoted to Tonya available, but we still see alot of work to be done, hence this site. In spite of our name we don't come from Tonya's home town of Portland, Oregon, but instead from New Zealand, though we have members from all around the globe. We call ourselves the Portland Ice Skating Society because we aim to p*** off the pompous, politically correct windbags in skating who put Tonya down and try to deny her a livelihood. In fact, we could have equally called ourselves the Politically Incorrect Skating Society. We're completely independent: although we have had a message of support from Tonya's management, we're not officially affiliated to them and make no pretense to speak on Tonya's behalf. We're just a group of people who want to draw attention to double standards and lynch-mob justice when we see it.
Tonya's critics have been many and vocal. But they're skating on thin ice. If you just want to scoff at Tonya or leer at her Wedding Night stills, then you can bugger off - this Web site is not for you. If, on the other hand, you are prepared to challenge your thinking about Tonya and listen with an open mind, we invite you to read on.
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