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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News
January 8, 2019 Edition - SPECIAL 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
(C) 2019 Portland Ice Skating Society
Welcome to the first edition of "The Portlandian" for the New
Year. Today, we remember the 25th anniversary of an important
event in Tonya history. We also check out some photos on
Instagram that Tonya has posted, hear descriptions of some
encounters with Tonya from her fans (including one famous one),
finish up our Tonyaween coverage, and visit an alternative
Most importantly, we will present a link to a site that provides
some important information about the events of 25 years ago,
information that we think clears Tonya of any involvement in a
certain imfamous event.
IT WAS TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY...
Today we celebrate an auspicious occasion - it marks the silver
anniversary of Tonya's 1994 National's win. And this time she
didn't need to pull out the triple Axel either to top the podium.
Skating to a Short Program of music from the film "Much Ado About
Nothing" and a Long Program of the theme from "Jurrasic Park",
Tonya won her second National Championship, confounding the
expectations of the skating establishment, who viewed her as a
washed up has-been on the way out.
Of course, it was also the 25th anniversary a couple of days
earlier of another "incident" which would come to overshadow
Tonya's second National's title, and naturally the media has
chosen to revisit that, particularly given that this month will
also see the Nationals return to Detroit for the first time since
1994. Although it will no longer be at the Joe Louis Arena, which
is scheduled for demolition, it will take place at Little
Caesar's Arena, about a mile away from Joe Louis.
Anyway, you can read their regurgitations below. Phil Hersh does
the obligatory rehash, though he does have an interesting quote
by Brian Boitano, who says:
"In retrospect, it was good for most of us. It catapulted
skating to another level of interest, one that it will never
get back to. I was able to work at a high level for many more
years to come."
Mercifully Christine Brennan has not put in an appearance,
limiting herself to tweeting a link to her 20th anniversary
article from 2014. Or you can read our own version which we did
at the same time instead:
It seems hard to avoid the conclusion that the USFSA were not
ignorant of the significance of choosing this location on this
anniversary, no matter how strenuously they will likely deny it.
With public interest in figure skating in the doldrums, they no
doubt took the "any publicity is good publicity" philosophy -
while at the same time continuing to deny Tonya her place in
figure skating history.
NEW ANALYSIS CLEARS TONYA
It is with this in mind that we are pleased to present the
following very lengthy essay by Tom Mahon of the case against
Tonya. And he shows conclusively that it doesn't stack up. It's
one of the most thoroughly-researched, in-depth analyses of the
evidence we've seen - it totally demolishes the case against her.
It does what Tonya's legal team would have done had the case gone
In particular, Mahon shows that Tonya could not have possibly
made the phone calls to the Tony Kent Arena in Cape Cod - and
therefore could not possibly have written Nancy's training times
on the so-called "Tunee Can" note - the supposedly critical piece
of "evidence" that is often cited as "proof" of Tonya's
Why? Because Tonya had no idea how the phone number of Tony Kent
was obtained. She told investigators that she obtained it from
the USFSA when in fact it was actually obtained from directory
assistance. Tonya would have no incentive to deliberately lie
about how she obtained the number - and every reason not to to
make her story credible. The only conclusion is that Gillooly
made those calls and then pressured Tonya to take the heat, as he
knew he would struggle to come up with a legitimate-sounding
reason for having made them himself. Unfortunately he failed to
brief Tonya on critical details, like how he got the number, so
she was forced to guess, and got it wrong.
Evidence by Tony Kent employees also contradict the idea Tonya
was involved. Bear in mind that since Nancy was the current
national champion calls about her training schedule were common
from fans. Such a call was received by rink employee Tim Daley on
the date of the 28th of December from a woman who wanted to know
Nancy's practice times so that she could get a poster signed. The
problem is that Daley said the call came in around 19:00, way
later than the time of 17:19 that the calls from the Harding/
Gillooly house were made according to the phone records.
According to Gillooly, Tonya, having obtained the practice times
and hung up the phone, then said "the stupid bitch gave it to
me!" - implying that she had spoken to a woman.
Accordingly, Tonya cannot possibly be the person Daley spoke to,
unless you accept that Daley made a huge error in recalling the
time and that at least part of Jeff's description of the call is
a lie, fabricated to make Tonya look bad. Nobody has ever found
out who took the earlier call from PDX and the gender of the
caller - we have only Gillooly's word that it was Tonya.
Tony Kent employee Deborah Kennedy recalled two calls sometime in
the last week of December about Nancy's training schedule within
minutes from, she believes, the same person - but they were from
a man. (Mark Starr, "Another Skate Drops", Newsweek, 1/31/94).
Could these be the calls that actually came from Portland?
On Jan. 3, another call is made from the Harding/Gillooly house
to Tony Kent, also at 14:19 Portland time or 17:19 Boston time.
Rink employee Yvonne Lackenby says she remembers a call coming in
that day around quarter past five from a male caller inquiring
about Nancy's practice times. Given the closeness of the times
she must certainly be referring to the call from Portland and
this again points to Gillooly, not Tonya, being the caller.
The house of cards that constitutes the "case" against Tonya
collapses. Twenty-five years on, it's time to cut the crap, and
let her skate again.
FESTIVE GREETINGS FROM TONYA
Tonya has been busy on Instagram over the past few weeks.
Tonya has posted a couple of festive photos for her fans on
Instagram recently, featuring herself in suitable attire getting
into the Christmas spirit:
And no, I don't know why she's got a bird on a piece of paper
stuck to her Christmas tree. But hey, she's from Portland, and
they put birds on things!
WOKE UP THIS MORNING, GOT MYSELF A GUN...
Tonya has also posted a couple of pictures from her time at the
Chicago Sports Spectacular recently on her Instagram feed.
1) Tonya with former NFL running back Emmitt Smith:
2) Tonya with cast members of The Sopranos:
Insert the obligatory joke about somebody getting "whacked"
REMEMBERING THE ALAMO
Several fans have also posted pictures of their encounter with
Tonya at the Alamo Drafthouse in South Lamar back in August. And
it's the same story that we've seen and heard many times before -
that people who meet Tonya in the flesh are pleased to discover
how pleasant and personable she is.
Multimedia producer Alyssa Vidales posted a few photos and a
description of Tonya's Q&A session:
August 17 2018 - 01:29
Watched I, TONYA for the first time with an audience. And the
@therealtonyaharding. Some Q&A takeaways:
— Tonya said the song she’d skate to today would be "Only God
Knows Why" by Kid Rock, "...because He’s the only one who’s in
— Did she ever say *that* to a judge? "I never told anyone to
suck my d**k [like Margo Robbie does in I, TONYA], but I will
someday. I’m just saving it."
— Tonya said she still has the fur coat she got to appear
"posh" at skating competitions as seen in the movie, but no,
it was store bought & not made from rabbits. She also said her
godmother, who was in the @drafthouse audience, still has the
mink coat her dad sold his car to buy her.
Natasha posted a picture of herself with Tonya:
Austin-based artist and scientist Grace Musser had this to say:
August 19 2018
So happy that I got to watch the @itonyamovie again this week
and meet @therealtonyaharding @drafthouseaustin. Ever since I
first saw the movie and learned about her story, she has
become one of my heroes and someone I look up to who inspires
me every day. I similarly came from a humble background, and
being a woman there is a whole set of additional hardships for
me to face, especially in paleontology/biology. Tonya is
especially inspiring to me as she has gone through so much and
still accomplished what most people thought was impossible
while remaining such a genuine, positive and wise human being
despite the attacks and bs of so many. Thank you again
@therealtonyaharding for sharing your story and helping me
stay motivated to do my best as a scientist and visual artist
while prioritizing the people that I love in my life.
Great to see that yet more Tonyaphiles are being recruited every
And in case you are wondering, yes, that carpet is the same as
the one in "The Shining".
WONDER WOMAN MEETS A REAL WONDER WOMAN!
Meanwhile, Olivia over at the WeTonya Facebook group has come up
with a video in which Margot Robbie tells of an encounter with
another Tonya fan.
We all know that Tonya is a wonder woman. But when the actress
who plays Wonder Woman on screen, Gal Gadot, met Tonya she
initially thought that Tonya was Margot's mother! And freaked out
with excitement when she discovered who she really was!
It's an understandable mistake - Tonya is so good-looking for her
age it's not surprising that people would think she's related to
Margot, one of the world's most glamorous women.
TONYAWEEN - PART 3
Last year's Halloween produced a plethora of "I, Tonya"-inspired
costumes, ranging from the good:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BpnrUvGD2_Y/ (is that "Jeff"
creepily like the real one or what?)
to the bad:
and the definitely ugly:
to the just plain bizarre:
In our birthday issue back in November we posted some links to
these that we found on Instagram. Since then, we've come across
truckloads more, way too many to list here, so we've just dumped
all the links to these honorable mentions up onto a page on our
site that well just call "lookalikes" for now:
YOU ARE NOW ENTERING... THE TWILIGHT ZONE
Finally, since we've now had the 25th anniversary of you-know-
what, let's indulge in a little speculative history. Tonya's had
plenty of "alternative facts" written about her over the years,
but here's some of a different kind. What if Tonya was the one
who had been clubbed? This alternate universe story postulates
what might have happened:
And let's face it, given the USFSA's attitude toward Tonya, it
doesn't seem that far-fetched.
VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:
PortIce - http://www.pdxiss.org
David House - http://www.tonyaharding.org
Charlie Main - http://www.charliesweb.com/tonya/tonya.html
Puppetboy - http://www.usapaul.net/tonya/
Valerie Smith - http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/LilHam.html
Swan Lake - http://members.tripod.com/~TonyaHarding/index.html
Blades of Gold - http://members.tripod.com/tmhfan/index.html
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