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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News
February 20, 1998 Edition - WEBSITE LAUNCH ISSUE
(C) 1998 Portland Ice Skating Society
TONYA PHOTO'S ONCE AGAIN AVAILABLE
We are pleased to announce that there now is an official fan club
once again up and running for Tonya, courtesy of her good friends,
Greg and Linda Lewis. They are now offering autographed pictures
of Tonya, the cost of which is $US10.00 for an 8x10 black and
white photo or $US15.00 for color - a much better deal than the
$40 deal that her previous agent, David Hans Schmidt was offering
for a black & white shot a year ago. Send a money order or
cashier's check, payable to Tonya Harding (no cash or personal
checks) along with a large SASE to:
Vancouver, WA 98668
You can also send snail mail to Tonya care of the above address,
or leave a message at the message boards that several of the Web
sites listed in the footer of this issue operate. We have it on
good authority that Tonya is reading messages at at least one of
these sites, possibly more.
PORTICE WEB SITE PHASE ONE NOW UP
Phase One of the PortIce Web site is now up. You can visit it at
the URL listed in the heading above. There you'll find a list of
Tonya's skating achievements, a Tonya FAQ, lists of Tonya-related
books, sources for Tonya videotapes (skating tapes, that is), a
copy of "The Skater" a review of the Fox special and a "morgue"
of back issues of the Portlandian.
Phase Two will probably be ready in a few days, and will contain
a biography of Tonya, an examination of the evidence and our
campaign for getting Tonya back into skating. In anticipation of
this, we outline an overview of our strategy below:
In response to the Fox special, hundreds of messages have been
flooding into the Tonya Web sites, especially the Maxey site. We
have it on good authority that two of Tonya's friends, Greg &
Linda Lewis, are aware of this site (and maybe others) and are
passing some of the messages on to her. All this is very
heartening for Tonya, and we encourage everybody to leave a
message. However, it also occurs to us that Tonyaphiles could
have an even bigger impact if messages were also sent to those
of influence within the sport of figure skating to let them know
how you feel about Tonya as well.
This is where Phase Two comes in. We have developed a theme of
Tonya's continued blackballing as being "The Great Skating
Swindle", and our campaign to stop the swindle from continuing
will involve a massive lobbying campaign from Tonyaphiles to the
skating bigwigs to let our feelings be known. We envisage that
hundreds of e-mails, letters and faxes flooding into skating
organizations, promotors, skaters agents and the USFSA will let
them know there's a heck of alot of support for Tonya out there.
We'll be developing a list of contact addresses giving people
and places to write to and ideas about what to say.
CBS AIRS TONYA ITEM
In the wake of the Fox special two weeks ago, CBS has aired it's
own Tonya item, featuring various interviews with people
including Tonya. Tonya denied having written the "Tunee Can"
note. Perhaps the biggest revelation to come out of this piece
was that Shawn "I'll have a beer, shaken but not stirred"
Eckardt is reported to be writing a book about the whole deal.
No doubt it'll be quite a laugh given Portland's portly James
Bond wannabe's reputation for exaggeration. Ian Fleming will
be turning in his grave.
EAR, EAR, EAR...
While the Sprewell arbitration decision drags on, news has come
in of yet another violent attack by a sportsman on another
Mike Tyson wannabe and English Rugby player Kevin Yates recently
got suspended for six months for ear-biting. Australian Simon
Fenn needed 25 stitches in his ear after the incident on January
10 in what has been described as one of the most violent
incidents in English rugby in years. Needless to say, Yates has
launched an appeal claiming his innocence. The incident is
similar to an event in 1993 when a South African, Johan LeRoux,
was banned for 19 months for biting the ear of a New Zealand
rugby player. Whatever the eventual outcome, it's a safe bet that
Yates will be back on the rugby field long before Tonya is
allowed back into skating.
SAMARANCH II: THE SEQUEL - OR THE EVIL EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
As the Games in Nagano draw to a close we bring you part two of
our series exposing the Dark Side of the Olympic movement. Last
week we told you about IOC President Juan Samaranch and a few
skeletons in his closet that he'd rather you didn't know about,
in particular his connections with General Franco of Spain.
However Franco is not the only dictator that Samaranch has
associated with - he didn't have any trouble with the Games being
held in Korea, whose police suppressed demonstrators with clubs
& rubber bullets to make Seoul "safe" for the 1988 Summer
Olympics. Their army also held NBC cameramen at gunpoint to make
sure they didn't pan too far and catch footage of all the
military bases that surround that city.
But Samaranch doesn't discriminate on the grounds of political
beliefs - he's hung round with plenty of Commies as well. He's
given the Gold Olympic Order, the Olympic movement's highest
honor, to Nicolae Ceaucescu of Rumania, the brutal dictator who
lived in luxury whilst children died of AIDS in orphanages. Todor
Zhivkov of Bulgaria is another recipient, along with the most
notorious of all, Eric Honecker of the now defunct East Germany.
Not only were Honecker's border guards shooting up people who
tried to escape his workers paradise, but his athletes were
shooting up steroids by the truckload; indeed the East German
sports machine was well known at the time as the most steroid
sodden of all. Obviously that didn't bother Juan Antonio too
Speaking of drugs, the IOC has often publicly proclaimed a hard
line against the use of performance enhancing chemicals. Despite
this, the IOC has persistantly dragged the chain when it comes to
introducing comprehensive random testing for drugs, even though
it has been known for years that the effects of drugs such as
anabolic steroids remain long after the drugs themselves have
cleared the system. The fact, of course, is that the IOC needs
the record breaking times that steroids produce in order to keep
the games "interesting" for the TV viewers. So token and
completely useless tests are conducted on the day, but not in
the weeks leading up to the Games. As a result, only the stupid
or unlucky (like Ben Johnson) get caught. The lack of too many
positive tests are then used to show the Games are largely drug
free. When scandal does erupt, proposed get-tough testing
programs are trumpeted, only to be canceled several months later
for "lack of money". The IOC seems to be quite capable of finding
money for elaborate museums in Lausaunne, however, or for lots of
first-class air travel and five-star hotels.
We've also received further details of Samaranch's manipulations
of the IOC mandatory retirement age, courtesy of Louis Epstein.
Up until 1985 there was no retirement age for IOC members. Then
Samaranch introduced one of 75 to get rid of his critics, many of
whom were somewhat older than him. When he hit 75 in 1995, he
rammed through a raise to 80 at the last minute! Hopefully by the
time he reaches that age himself in 2000 even he will have had
enough! Given the quality of people that make up alot of the IOC,
however, an improvement in standards from his successor is not
Take for instance, Sheik Fahd Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the
Kuwaiti aristocrat who bribed his way onto so many of his
country's sports committees he was known as Kuwait's "Mr Sport"
up until his death at the hands of the Iraqi invaders in 1990.
Fahd used little of his time to improve world sport, however.
Instead, his chief activity seemed to be trying to exclude Israel
from international competition as much as possible. The IOC
turned a blind eye to this; they didn't have the guts to stop him
despite the blatant violation of the Olympic Charter that this
discrimination entailed. Despite all this, Fahd was not a rabid
Jew-hater; Israeli officials who met him found he was very polite
& courteous. It's just that he realized the best way to score
points in the Arab world was to make life tough for the Israelis.
So, what has this to do with Tonya?
There are those who would argue that Olympic athletes should be
held to a higher standard than those in professional sports.
Leaving aside the fact that thanks to people like Horst Dassler
the Olympics are now essentially professional, is it fair to
criticize Tonya when duplicity, corruption, power politics and
sleaze are blatantly tolerated at the very highest echelons of
the Olympic hierarchy? Over the past two weeks we have revealed
that greed, racism, manipulation of the rules for political ends,
hypocrisy and tolerance of drug abuse is widespread in the IOC.
To then slam Tonya for her behavior over the Kerrigan incident
is a double standard of the highest kind.
TONYA MAKES IT TO NAGANO - SORT OF
They said it couldn't happen, but Tonya did get to the White Ring
in Nagano after all. Evgenia Filonenko and Igor Marchenco of the
Ukraine found themselves holding a full sized inflatable doll
with a Tonya Harding mask attached that was thrown on the ice
after they finished their pairs routine. The doll was even
dressed in Tonya's famous purple costume with the plunging
V-neckline from her 1994 Nationals win.
WITT WINS ROLE IN GANGSTER MOVIE
It has recently been announced that Katarina Witt has landed a
role in a major motion picture playing opposite Robert De Niro as
a Russian gangster's moll who happens to be a champion ice
skater. In doing so, she is of course following in the tracings
of our own beloved Tonya who also tangled with the Mob in
"Breakaway". Perhaps Tonya could show Witt a few of those Kung-Fu
moves she used to such good effect in her movie. The title of the
film is still unknown, but our suggestion is "Goodcomrades".
Oksana "Pasha" Grischuk claims the Witt role was offered to her
but she turned it down - more likely she was turned down by the
filmmakers. We would suggest that perhaps a role as a Joe
Pesci-type psychotic little hood who kicks people to death would
have been more suitable for Pasha if she wanted a part in this
ICE DANCING GETS PASHANATE
Meanwhile Pasha has been doing her best to capture the gold for
bad taste ice skater of the year. Whether it be getting into
punchups with Brass Knuckles Bobek or the outrageous behavior of
her relatives, Pasha seems to love the spotlight. Recently CBS
viewers were treated to an appalling attempt by Pasha to ape
Marilyn Monroe by singing Happy Birthday to President Clinton
(one of the great things about getting the CBC coverage is we
managed to miss this down here). Several observers thought the
rendition owed more to Marilyn Manson than Marilyn Monroe. From
what we've been told, CHARLES Manson could have probably done a
better job. Either way the clip already seems to be regarded as
a camp classic in the tradition of "Showgirls". If Pasha wants to
get into movies, perhaps the Elizabeth Berkley role in a sequel
to that film might afford her an opportunity.
For Tonyaphiles, though, this is also been-there-done-that
territory. In 1995 Tonya also attempted to jump start a singing
career by forming a band called the Golden Blades. Their first
gig as warm up act for Kool & The Gang at a charity event in
Portland did not go well, with Tonya being booed and pelted with
heaps of plastic bottles. Even Tonya's singing, however, sounds
like it may have been better than Pasha's.
Incidentally, Pasha and Tonya are not the only skaters to try
for a career on the pop charts. At the height of their popularity
in the mid 1980's Torvill and Dean also put out an album. Whether
it was ever released in the States is not known; British readers
can probably find a copy going for 50p in the local church bazaar
if they try. Note though, that it's probably on vinyl, which is
bad luck for those who have already ditched their record players.
VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:
PortIce - http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Stadium/1190
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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