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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

January 6, 1998 Edition - SPECIAL 4TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE
(C) 1998 Portland Ice Skating Society
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Welcome to a New Year. We hope that everybody had a merry Christmas 
break.


FOUR YEARS AFTER

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the Whacking, and the subsequent 
fall from grace of Tonya with which we are all so familiar. It comes as 
the 1998 US Nationals get under way in Philadelphia.

It would be folly to argue that Tonya behaved perfectly during the early 
months of 1994, but one has to question whether Tonya's proven crimes 
merit a life ban or if this serves any further purpose; isn't four years 
enough? There may well be many who believe that Tonya had a deeper 
involvement in the affair than she's let on, but in a civilized society 
surely the principle of innocent until proven guilty should be followed.

Clearly, nobody wants figure skating to become like basketball or 
baseball or football, where outrageous (and often criminal) behavior 
seems to be tolerated as the norm, but there can be no value in further 
excluding Tonya from the ice. Tonya today lives in poverty in Vancouver, 
Washington. Any money she would make would be a tiny fraction of that 
she would have earned had there been no scandal and Tonya had won a gold 
medal at the games. The lucrative world of commercial endorsements is 
closed to her.

Compare Tonya's plight with the case of Latrell Sprewell, a basketball 
player who tried to strangle his coach just recently. He got fired by 
his team and suspended for only a YEAR by the NBA, and yet he's claiming 
it's UNFAIR. Yet according to an article in the Miami Herald, there are 
TEN other NBA teams willing to hire him if he gets reinstated. Perhaps 
if Jeff Gillooly's galoots had merely tried to throttle Nancy Kerrigan 
to death Tonya might be skating today. Or perhaps if Tonya had had the 
money she could have followed Sprewell's lead and hired Johnnie Cochran 
(of you-know-who fame) as her lawyer. An arbitration hearing is 
scheduled for the 27th - 29th of January (and will occur in Portland, of 
all places), which will decide Sprewell's ultimate fate, but a life ban 
is something we ain't putting our money on.


TONYA GETS DONE IN DALLAS

To commemorate the fourth anniversary of the scandal the Dallas Morning 
News published an article about where the main participants are now. You 
can read it at:

http://www.dallasnews.com/olympics/oly1.htm

Unfortunately, as you would expect, the article makes the usual errors. 
Accordingly, the management of our parent organization, the Portland Ice 
Skating Society, has sent the following e-mail to the Sports Day section 
of the Dallas Morning News pointing out these errors. We would encourage 
all Tonyaphiles to do the same whenever they spot something erroneous 
being printed about Tonya.

  "Thanks for your article on the Harding-Kerrigan scandal. It was
  interesting to see what had happened after four years. The article
  would have been a lot more valuable, however, if it had been
  better researched. Unfortunately, it repeats a number of common
  inaccuracies:

  >It was Jan. 6, 1994, at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in
  >Detroit, that Kerrigan was attacked by a friend of rival skater
  >Tonya Harding.

  Stant was a hired hit man brought in by Eckhart from Arizona. He
  never even met Harding, and certainly was not one of her friends.


  >Harding eventually pleaded guilty to hindering the investigation
  >of the Kerrigan attack. She managed to avoid jail but received 
  >500 hours of community service and a $110,000 fine

  plus also paid a $50,000 donation to the Special Olympics, which
  was also part of the plea bargain deal.


  >Harding divorced her husband, Jeff Gillooly, who had made a
  >graphic videotape of their honeymoon >night. Bootleg copies of the
  >tape are in circulation.

  In spite of it's title, and popular belief, the so-called "Wedding
  Night Video" was actually a composite of three different sex
  sessions recorded on three different occasions, none of which was 
  Tonya's wedding night. The first, showing Harding stripping off a 
  wedding dress, was apparently recorded after a Halloween party, 
  probably in 1990. Gillooly sold the tape, which eventually ended up
  in the hands of Penthouse, who in turn released it. Officially
  licensed copies are widely available from many porn outlets, not
  just bootlegs.


  >Harding did land a skating job last year, performing before a
  >minor-league hockey game in Reno, Nev. She was booed.

  In fact, the booing came from a handful of people, who were well
  known by locals as regular troublemakers. The rest of the crowd of
  4,500 people who packed the rink in Reno were cheering, not
  jeering. Indeed, the cheering was so loud it was almost impossible
  to hear the music (I know this because I have seen reports from
  people who were there). It is worth noting that this was a record
  crowd, over 2,000 more people than had ever before attended a
  hockey game at that venue, with some fans traveling hundreds of
  miles to see the event. To state that Harding "was booed" when in
  fact this was not the majority reaction is grossly misleading and
  typical of the anti-Tonya bias of the media, who seem to be more
  interested in promoting a negative interpretation of any Tonya-
  related events rather than objectively reporting the facts."


THE LILLY AND THE HAMMER

Not so much a Tonya site, but a page devoted to both skaters, "The Lilly 
and the Hammer" has been developed by Valerie Smith of Olympia, WA. It 
can be found at: 

http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/LilHam.html

It's a pleasure to find another site that doesn't treat Tonya as 
skating's cross between Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Charles Manson.


PORTICE SITE ON COURSE

Meanwhile, steady progress is being made on our own Web site. It won't 
win any awards for fancy HTML programming - in fact we admit it will 
look crude and primitive and rather 1994-ish (at least at this stage), 
but we Tonyaphiles have always valued substance over style. There will 
be plenty of time for fancy stuff later on. Right now we're going to 
concentrate on content and information. But it won't merely be a 
repetition of what others have done before.

Why another Tonya Web site?

When we first started "The Portlandian" back in November 1996 it was to 
fill what we saw as a paucity of decent, pro-Tonya information on the 
Internet. There was Chris Jefferson doing the odd Pro-Tonya post over on 
rec.sport.skating.ice.figure and Charlie Main with a few decent Tonya 
jpegs on afthwww, but by and large that seemed to be it (David House may 
have been up and running at that stage, but we didn't stumble across him 
until February. Jim Maxey and Puppetboy weren't around at all). By far 
the rest was just abuse or the same tired old jokes or porno garbage 
(most of it fake too).

Happily, this situation has now been remedied. With the above three 
sites there is now an abundance of decent info and skating photos about 
Portland's ice princess. So why do we need another one? Because although 
great progress has been made, we believe that there are still a few gaps 
which we believe we can fill. For instance, several people have said 
they're going to do a bio of Tonya, but haven't got around to it. Then 
there's a list of Tonya's skating achievements. We also hope to have a 
sample issue of Joe Haran's "The Skater", a copy of which somebody sent 
us, on line so that people can have a chance to see what this original 
Tonya fanzine was like.

But perhaps most of all what we will offer is something which actually 
gives the details about "The Plot" and critically examines the evidence 
for Tonya's involvement. So much of what people know about the Whacking 
incident is just vague, inaccurate rumor and innuendo that gets repeated 
so many times it gains the status of a fact. Finally, we'll also be 
incorporating a list of places and links you can write to to stir things 
up about getting Tonya back on the ice.


SKATE PUPPETBOY FAN CLUB

Puppetboy is looking at starting another fan club for Tonya. Membership 
is free, though for a small fee you can order one of their Tonya bumper 
stickers. Details can be found at:

http://pages.ripco.com:8080/~deadboy/mirrortony2.html


THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT THAT WASN'T

Just before Christmas a story began circulating in some newspapers that 
Tonya and a certain other skater would appear together in a TV special 
to be called "The Ladies of Lillehammer". Needless to say, this story 
turned out to be up the pole and was quickly scotched a couple of days 
later. It appears that a few TV types were just kicking around some 
ideas and a reporter got hold of the story and blew it up into something 
it never was. The special is still at the planning stages, and Tonya was 
never going to be invited in any case. All we would have got was an 
interview, and probably not even that if the other skaters freak at the 
idea of a Tonya connection. Indeed, one got the impression that even the 
other skater would have only featured in an interview, and without those 
two, who would be left? Oksana "I'll have one (or maybe half a dozen) 
for the road" Baiul?


TONYA GETS TRUCK BACK

Somebody in Vancouver WA reports that Tonya was seen a couple of days 
before Christmas driving her white Ford pickup, so it seems she's got it 
back. The truck is now sporting Washington plates, so it looks like it's 
a long term move.

Does this mean we'll have to change our name to "The Washingtonian" or 
even "The Vancouverian"?

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VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:
Jim Maxey - http://www.tonyaharding.com
Dave House - http://www.davidhouse.com/tonya/index.html
Puppetboy - http://pages.ripco.com:8080/~deadboy/mirrortony2.html
Valerie Smith - http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/LilHam.html
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