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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News
August 8, 2020 Edition - HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY TONYA & JOE
(C) 2020 Portland Ice Skating Society
Welcome to another edition of The Portlandian for 2020, the year
that everyone wishes would just go away. You thought 2016 was
bad, with all those old 20th-century icons popping their clogs in
their late sixties? Now it feels like we're in one of those
dystopian science fiction movies from the '70s, like Logan's Run
or Beneath The Planet of the Apes.
This issue is a bit of a grab-bag of odds and ends: highlights
include some Tonya skating footage that hasn't seen daylight in
yonks, a review of a recent Tonya-related documentary - that's
not really about Tonya - and the regular roundup of Tonya-themed
TONYA GOES TO THE DOGS
Obviously, the current situation means that Tonya's not had the
opportunity to get up to much. So she's busy at home, working on
her latest project - her new dog, Dorado. As you can see, he's
grown quite a bit since we first reported on him earlier this
Tonya's husband Joe also celebrated his birthday back in May:
Tonya's also posted a photo of herself and her friends on the bed
of her pickup truck for the 4th of July:
As one fan wrote, "I feel like there are few people who can out-
And by the way, happy 10th anniversary Tonya & Joe!
VINTAGE TONYA SKATING FOOTAGE UNEARTHED
Those good folks at The Skating Lesson have been busy again -
this time they've dug up Tonya's 1988 Nationals performances:
Short Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtHIh543xUY
Long Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8UK7PT-zcY
These never screened on network TV - the Short Programs weren't
shown, and Tonya's performance was chacked for the broadcast of
the Long, which is why they haven't surfaced before. Fortunately
the USFSA arranged for videographers to come in a shoot the lot
for their own reference and for skaters and fans who wanted
copies. The quality isn't that great, but it's the first time
these clips have appeared on the internet to our knowledge.
At 3:25 in the short, Tonya skates up and hugs someone who
appears to be her father.
There's also this clip of Tonya's 1992 Olympics exhibition. This
perfomance has been online for a while, but only the CBS version
- this version from Eurosport with different commentators hasn't
as far as we can tell.
Now, if only the holy grail of missing Tonya footage, Tonya's
1993 NHK, would show up - that was never shown on Japanese TV,
but a few seconds were used in a fluff piece before the 1998
Olympics, so it still existed then:
TONYA PHOTOS NEW AND OLD
Here's a photo of Tonya we've not seen before - pity there's no
date or other info. Our guess is probably around 2000 before she
started boxing. The photo she's holding is from the Breaking the
Ice special which aired on Fox in early 1998, so it's obviously
after that. The site has connections to Chicago, if that's a
Several interesting Tonya-related sites have cropped up on
Instagram & Pinterest, especially since the release of the movie.
https://www.pinterest.com/amandajordan271/tonya-harding/ - this
one has a large number of Tonya photos, including several that
haven't been seen before widely.
Gisa of Germany also has a Tonya collection:
All a Tonyaphile needs - eat / sleep / watch "I, Tonya":
https://www.instagram.com/whereistonyaharding/ - features a
cardboard cutout of Tonya having various adventures.
We've mentioned this one before - Tonya Photoshopped into various
situations e.g. on horseback, at the White House, in a Taylor
Swift video. But this has got to be the best one of all: Tonya on
the podium in Lillehammer getting the gold medal she was gypped
And to finish off, this site has several photos showing Tonya's
MORE SHAWN ODDS & ENDS
Last issue we linked to a clip from Shawn Eckardt's Diane Sawyer
interview. This prompted a reader to send us this link to the
official registration for Eckardt's World Bodyguard Services
corporation on the Oregon Secretary of State's website. This
shows it was formed in December 1992 and dissolved in February
1994, probably because Eckardt was in jail by that stage. The
agent listed is his mother:
So we thought we'd dig up a few other items about Eckardt that
we've come across. Some of these we've mentioned before, others
are new. First is Paul Walter Hauser's Facebook chat from 2018 in
which he talked about playing the character:
We shared a couple of items with him - the first was a picture
from the Portland Ice Skating Club's 1993 Mother's Day roses work
party. Apparently these roses were sold as a fundraising exercise
by the club. Yes, that's you-know-who in the background on the
left. I guess he didn't have any hostage extraction missions in
Iran scheduled for that week:
The second was Shawn's business card for his "World Bodyguard
Services". This, and the above photo, was sent to us by the
former editor of "The Skater", the official Tonya fan club
magazine that briefly ran for about 18 months in 1993/94.
Paul mentions this at around 9:50 in the video, and shared some
interesting info of his own: he reveals that Eugene Saunders, a
church minister who was a friend of Eckardt's, told him that
Eckardt always carried a multiplicity of business cards with fake
names on them around with him at all times.
Finally we have an article from a martial arts magazine from June
1994 about Executive Security International, the bodyguarding
school in Colorado that Eckardt was briefly enrolled in, by the
school's founder, Bob Duggan:
Discussing his most infamous pupil, Duggan says "for several
years we offered student loans to pay for the program, which
costs $12,000, but that turned out to be a liability. In fact,
that's how (he) was able to come to our school, and we'll never
get that money back from him."
"While Eckardt was at ESI, nobody liked him because he was an
incessant braggart and a fantasizer. He concocted the most
cockamamie stories about himself which didn't reconcile with his
age. We terminated him from the program about a year ago for
academic incompetence. The resume that he gave us illustrates
that he has problems and that he truly thought of himself as
"For the first eight years of ESI's existence, the quality of
our students was superb. But we are targets for people who have
these walter Mitty illusions, because we provide the vehicle for
them to legitimize their own self content."
CONFRONTING A SHADOW
We now have the pleasure to review the documentary "My Hero The
Hitman" - you might recall that this screened at the Hawaii
International Film Festival several months ago under the title
"My Hero's Shadow". Now director Justin Young has made this
available on Vimeo.
For most skating fans, Shane Stant is an enigma - he's only
remembered for this one horrible thing he did. And by and large
people outside of figure skating don't even remember his name.
His identity, even his existence, has been erased for many
people, some of whom think that Tonya herself did the actual
clubbing. The irony is that today the Incident is mainly
associated with Tonya, who had little to do with it, while the
guy who actually wielded the baton has largely sunk into
oblivion. People talk about "going Tonya Harding" on someone;
nobody ever talks about "going Shane Stant".
Shane's younger sister Maile, however, has a totally different
picture of him. To Maile Stant, Shane was a hero, who stood up to
and protected her from an abusive father. However, as time went
by, she learned that Shane had a dark side. Can she reconcile his
violent past - his "shadow" - with the heroic figure that she
knew and looked up to?
Basically "I, Shane", "My Hero The Hitman" attempts to make Stant
a more rounded human figure than just the two-dimensional comic-
book goon we think of him as. We explore his backstory - how did
he end up in such a dark place that he would commit such a brutal
act? And how has he turned his life around since?
Much of the film is really about Maile discussing this with Shane
in depth for the first time. The film commences with Maile
viewing the attack footage on a laptop, before flying off to L.A.
to meet Shane. We meet Shane in a "gentlemens club" called Bare
Elegance where he works as a bouncer. Don't call it a strip
joint, I'm sure those poles are just there to hold up the
ceiling. Later on, he's interviewed at a skating rink. He's
clearly a guy who has had a rough life, looking much older than
his years. His complexion is terrible - I wouldn't be surprised
if he's been on meth at some stage.
We learn that, like Tonya, Shane also suffered an abusive
upbringing, though in his case, it was his father, Gaylord Stant,
rather than his mother. Gaylord was a Jeckyll & Hyde character:
in public, he was the tourist's stereotype of a typical Hawaiian
- a happy native in a floral shirt who liked to play the guitar.
In private, his home life was more like out-takes from "Once Were
Warriors", with beatings being routinely dished out to Shane for
often trivial reasons.
We then adjourn to a coffee shop, where he meets Maile for the
first time in two years. Maile was about 3 when the Incident
happened and about 5 when he first met her, his half-sister, when
he moved back to Hawaii after his stint in prison. Maile was not
aware where he'd been. At that point he lived in a trailer in
driveway. "He was always creating, always writing", says Maile.
He then worked in a coffee shop.
It seems her awareness of Shane's past came gradually, rather
than one sudden realization. Maile remembers seeing Shane giving
interviews on TV, but didn't connect that he had hurt someone.
She first became aware of his connection to the Incident in
college in a media class, studying tabloid media, as Tonya/Nancy
was the example that they used. She first realized it was
something big around the 20th anniversary in 2014. She watched
"Price of Gold" - to her, it seemed like fiction "like it was a
role my brother was playing". She started Googling frantically to
find out more - and found it hard to come to terms with this
thuggish image of him totally at odds with the Shane that she
At the age of 13, Shane runs away to Portland to live with his
mother, but it's a case of out of the frying pan into the fire,
as he meets more abusive relatives, recounting one occasion where
he was forced to eat dog shit as a punishment. Shane later takes
up martial arts and bodybuilding in an attempt to become so tough
no-one will ever be able to beat him up again. He describes how
he had no reluctance to beat up anyone he felt deserved it, but
eventually it was a slippery slope and he drifts into being a
muscle-for-hire type. He went from being a good guy, standing up
to bullies, to being one of the bullies himself.
One guy he did get along with was Derrick Smith, who in spite of
being his uncle and older than he looks was actually only 29 at
the time of this incident. Shane describes him as being into a
lot of "cool stuff like hunting, camping" etc. Derrick knew Shawn
Eckardt and shared an interest with him in survivalism, and it
was here that his involvement with the plot begins.
Around the 30 minute mark, we're into the attack. Shane does say
that the idea of killing Nancy was never discussed, at least not
in his presence. His impression is that Tonya knew, but he
refuses to say that he's absolutely sure, preferring to give her
the benefit of the doubt. Contrary to what's depicted in "I,
Tonya", Shane just bought a ticket and then walked into the
secure area rather than sneaking in the back way. He says that if
you look and behave as if you belong in a place, it's unlikley
anybody will challenge you, even if you haven't got a security
pass. "The best way to lie is to stay as close to the truth as
possible", he says, explaining why he felt there was no reason to
use false names.
Michelle Kwan does a voice over describing her recollection of
events - she came off the ice directly behind Nancy, but there's
nothing from Nancy herself, who declined to participate. Some
proceeds from the film were donated to the Nancy Kerrigan
Maile plays with a baton of the same type, says she's amazed it
only caused a bruise. She says feeling it makes it a lot more
real than just seeing the video, and it reminds her of the
violence experienced in her family. Shane says he learned the
ability to store his rage and unleash it when necessary.
After the attack, Shane flew back to Arizona. A few days later he
was staying at a friend's house in Southern CA, saw his picture
on the news, knew the jig was up, drove back to Phoenix, and
turned himself in (unlike in "I, Tonya" where he is shown as
being arrested by surprise). At this point he naively assumed
that he'd go to jail, do his time, get on with his life. He was
flabbergasted at the amount of attention from the media - and
immediately realized his life was not going to be the same again.
Once back in Portland, Shane has something pleasant happen to
him: he's bailed out by a guy whose kid he'd protected from
bullies at one time, one of the few times in his life that anyone
had helped him. When he saw the reporters, he wanted to go back
inside, and was eventually let out the back door. While on bail,
he stayed at him grandma's house. Gaylord flew to Oregon to meet
him. Shane thought he was finally going to get some deep
meaningful father/son moment, but it is just another
disappointment, with Gaylord's advice being "I told you, don't
get caught". "My dad, like, never came through, like, ever", said
Shane. Anything that seemed like help was always a hustle.
While in prison, Shane decides to turn his life around - he's
realized that he does have a choice and doesn't have to be just
the sum of his upbringing. Character comes from the Greek, and
means an engraving process, he says. Meanwhile Maile realizes she
was overly nice and positive as a counter to everything bad that
was happening to her. She was running from hurt, and must now
allow it to catch up and confront it in order to be truly free.
In late 1997, Gaylord was diagnosed with cancer and Shane moves
back to help care for him. Gaylord wanted to kill himself rather
than hear what he'd done to his family.
Shane reflects on the fact that he has changed Nancy's life - the
knee may be healed, but there's a mental impact like fear, and
that she will forever be associated with the clubbing. He says
that the best way to say you're sorry is to change your behavior.
He also feels sad for Tonya - to be unable to do something you've
worked hard for all your life, kills your heart and your desire.
But the Incident also had a positive impact too, as it stopped
Shane going down the destructive road he was on - and if he had
continued, he wouldn't have been around for Maile. Maile thinks
we need to stop seeing people as just unforgiveable bad guys,
like the tabloids like to do. We need to know their story, see
their "shadow", to fully understand who they really are.
Overall, the impression of Shane Stant that emerges in this film
is one of a complex figure - neither the wholesome goody-goody
his sister knew, but more than just the thuggish cardboard-cutout
villain that skating fans love to hate. While a product of his
upbringing, he is proof that your character doesn't have to be
fixed in stone and can be changed. Although I doubt if he'll ever
make it onto Nancy's Christmas card list, it's hard not to like
the guy for managing to turn his life around and break the cycle
of abuse. We learn that he is working on a book. Perhaps he
should become a motivational speaker, a route that Tonya has also
The main shortcoming of the film from my perspective is that we
don't really learn much more about the actual planning and
execution of the attack than has already been published over the
years - or what role Tonya may or may not have played in it. Of
course, it was not Justin Young's intention to focus on that
angle, so you can't really criticize the film for this - that's
like criticizing an orange for not tasting like an apple. One
other quibble: we don't learn much about Shane's life between the
death of Gaylord in 1998 and the present day - what was he up to
in the past 20 years?
To sum up, "My Hero The Hitman" is an uplifting, inspiring film
and definitely required viewing for anyone with an interest in
this incident, even if it doesn't answer as many questions as
we'd like. Its message is that while as you can judge somebody's
actions, you can't fairly judge them as a person until you know
their shadow, their backstory. "My Hero The Hitman" fills in that
backstory for Shane Stant in the same way that "I, Tonya" did for
The film can be viewed here:
TONYA FAN ART ROUNDUP
Feeling peckish? Why not try a Tonya cookie?
therebeccahamm - https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf6xh3LgEIr/
Karyn Peters (younique_art1)
"What can I say Tonya that Itonya movie really helped me through
a tough time I'm so grateful to everyone who was apart of it.
Created a new version 2019 color pencil ?? sketch and animated
gif of Tonya Harding. Big fan of the movie because it doesn't shy
away from the truth of abuse. I myself went through it and her
courage motivates me to keep going and do my best. In my opinion
everyone is entitled to mistakes in life cause no one is perfect
and can only imagine how much pressure she was under. The
olympics isn't play play it's about representing a country. She
is definitely a talented ? ice skater it's a shame we only got to
see her when she was at her peak in her career. Who knows if she
continued there might have been more hidden potential but guess
there is a reason for everything. The last two were previous
sketches from 2018 are posted earlier on check it out. Must say I
improved ??????. Wana do a drawing of another fav ice skater ?
jmaybarnett - https://www.instagram.com/p/B76_nSkB-dI/
kevin.j.fisher - https://www.instagram.com/p/B8SedpwA_NE/
This is a clip of the fully animated music video I made with
@xioayalaart for the amazing funk-rock band @theninththeband
uzynko - a Tonya cartoon
this t-shirt may be plain. but it says it all.
Eric Z (superhero_tattoo) - bloody Tonya
"(Mostly) finished sketch from tonight and yesterday. About 3ish
Sarah Baumann (kittyinthechicity)
sports themed valentines that includes Tonya
Emilie Dewitte (emilie.leeft)
"All work and all play this week! Finished this poster for my
graphic design class, right in time for the Day of the Academy
tomorrow! Be creative, do what you love. LOVE!"
Michael S (mikepimpollo) New Orleans
A familiar twosome at MardiGras.
areyousrius - a Tonya pencil sketch
Hello I'm Yan (yancatdraw)
"I stumbled across this scene from the movie I,Tonya and woah was
it great. I’m not too good at painting but hopefully this isn’t
too bad ?"
rachelodonnell - La Luz De Jesus Gallery
"This SATURDAY — see my two Tonya Harding paintings at the
@laluzdejesus “Everything But The Kitchen Sync” show! So excited
to get these two pieces out in the wild! Preview link in
virgodrawing - "back in black. and who better to come back with
than my fave dark horse #tonyaharding"
natilladraws - a tribute to Tonya's ill-fated Jurassic Park
routine at Lillehammer
badqueen613 - https://www.instagram.com/p/B9xs7sDptic/
365 days of type - this one is "I, Tonya" obviously.
olavvvinkelmann - https://www.instagram.com/p/B96tGeLIx8Q/
Tonya Fighting Evil Eyes
Ridiculous Sight - https://www.instagram.com/p/B97ZiOAgNK8/
Spark sketch book - https://www.instagram.com/p/B-GZfOXHsiS/
nervouspretzel - https://www.instagram.com/p/B-v3xfllqqO/
"Where the f- are my Dove Bars?"
beanlazonby - alternative film poster
LJT (crimson.inkwell) Portland, OR.
Carly Ryan (carlucci1019)
"A quarantine tribute to the history-making program from US
Figure Skating’s 1991 Nationals, featuring @therealtonyaharding‘s
first triple axel in competition (& the first by an
American/3rd female ever). This was too much fun to record,
especially video 3 sorry for the playboy bunny butt, it’s a dance
dress. And sorry I just winged it; no #margotrobbie level of prep
Minimalist Movie Throw Pillow of "I, Tonya" by Craig Gillespie
starring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney. Link
zakkinsella - https://www.instagram.com/p/B-3SLUmFQmh/
six fan arts - Tonya, Greatest American Hero, Brutus the Barber
Beefcake, JarJar Binks, Sean Connery's character from Zardoz, the
Dean from Community.
Hantine (Eddie) Hsu (hted.hsu)
Six Margot Robbie characters - including Tonya
Liam Donnelly (baeliam)
"Like Jesus, @dhart16 is reborn today—as Tonya Harding!! | Diana
donated to her local nail salon’s COVID relief fund & requested I
draw her as Di, Tonya & I was v slow to do it bc I am LAZY. I can
do the same for you!!"
scnsible - "I Tonya" montage
Mike Pennekamp (mikefacekillah)- Tonya and some skulls
No, this is Saoirse (saoirseryanart) - Dublin, Ireland
"In a relationship, there's a gardener and a flower"
Fanie Buys (fanie_nani)
"Sometimes you’re lead piping, sometimes you’re the ice skater."
minek0_mine - custom made rings
Maria Kogan (maakodolls)
"Today it's Tonya's turn to leave me and go to her new patroness
in France. My girls' habitat is expanding"
plpy (hvsvns) - "slow triple axels in the dark"
Larry Caveney - Tucson, AZ.
romelleberry - six fan arts
"This is a commission for one of my friends of her! I had a lot
of fun drawing this"
_honeybunchxx - the pink dress scene
viv art (4moredisperato) - A rare piece of Diane Rawlinson fan
art - at least that's what we make of it.
Etres Etranges - Moi, Tonya
Jun Yasuda (hesomagarisaburo)
another alternative film poster
ambitious_cat1 - Tashkent, Uzbekistan
A pencil sketch of Tonya on the podium after her '91 Nationals
Continuing challenge #sixfanarts
"The second character I chose Tonya Harding from the film, which
was shot on the real events of "I, Tonya". Wikipedia calls this
girl: "the most scandalous skater on the planet." And I decided
that it would be quite interesting if you take her image as a
character. And here is what came of it."
And finally, ever wonder what "I, Tonya" would have looked like
if it had been done in the form of a cartoon drawn in the style
of "The Simpsons"?
No, we haven't either. But at least one person has - you can see
their idea of what the result would have been like here:
We started off mentioning dystopian science fiction films, so
we'll end on a similar note. You think that dressing up as Tonya
is weird? Well here's something even weirder - people who dress
up as Sean Connery's character from the movie "Zardoz".
If you've never seen it, you're really missing something: in
addition to a former James Bond running around in a red nappy and
a ponytail, it's also got a giant flying stone head that looks
like Karl Marx and vomits guns. Even the guy who created it, John
Boorman, confesses he was doing a lot of drugs at the time and
can't make sense of it.
We can only be thankful that Boorman didn't get to direct "I,
Tonya" - if he had, it would be called "Hardoz" and feature a
giant flying stone head that looks like Tonya and vomits skates.
And that would be just way too much, even for Tonyaphiles.
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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