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

October 24, 1998 Edition - TV SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ISSUE
(C) 1998 Portland Ice Skating Society
http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Stadium/1190
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STOP PRESS - TONYA TV SPECIAL IN THE WORKS

R. J. Garis, Tonya's agent and publicist, has announced a new 
T.V. special featuring Tonya to be aired this coming January 
17th. Entitled "E-True Hollywood Story", the special will run for 
two hours and will also feature an interview with Greg and Linda 
Lewis, Tonya's Godparents and former managers. Tonya is also 
mentioned in the "scoop" section of a recent "People" magazine.

Details are still sketchy - for instance, it's not known at this 
stage how much of the special will be devoted to Tonya, and 
whether it will feature any skating. But whatever the story, one 
thing is certain: it's time to stock up on videotape. Tonya is on 
the way back!


TONYA PLAYS MRS. SANTA CLAUS - AGAIN

Those who have been following Tonya's career over the past four 
years will know that back in Christmas 1994 Tonya appeared as 
Mrs. Santa Claus in a routine at Portland's Clackamas Town Center 
ice rink. With Christmas once more on its way it's time to start 
thinking of what presents to buy to fill up those Christmas 
stockings, and this year Tonya Claus comes to the rescue again 
with a whole sackful of new goodies that'll solve the problem of 
what to get for the Tonyaphile in your life.

First up, there's now a new photo of Tonya available for purchase 
- well actually, it's not that new, but rather an old favorite. 
You can now order the famous photo of Tonya wearing a gold 
evening gown and standing in the doorway of one of her trucks 
that's much beloved by Tonya's fans (and one of her best photos 
in our opinion). This was the one featured in the US edition of 
"Esquire" back in August 1994 (the one with an ugly looking 
picture of Madonna in a black leather bondage outfit on the 
cover). You can have a look at it at:

http://www.davidhouse.com/tonya/tphoto1.shtml

(In fact, David has being doing a bit of work on his photo 
gallery recently - see below).

The price is $US15:00 for a color 8x10 print and can be ordered 
from Tonya's Godparents, Greg and Linda Lewis, at:

P.O. Box 6132 
Vancouver, WA 98668

Be sure to state that you want the "evening gown" photo when 
ordering. The other photos are also still available, by the way.


TONYA THE POP STAR

Nor does the good news stop there. Long term Tonyaphiles may be 
aware that Tonya once tried to start a career as a pop singer 
after the boys at the U. S. Fascist Skating Association gave her 
the boot. Called "The Golden Blades" after her (un)lucky gold 
skate blades, Tonya's band made its singing debut as warm up act 
for Kool and The Gang at a charity gig in Portland back in 
September 1995. Unfortunately, Tonya was not well received and 
was pelted with plastic bottles by the bunch of ignorant 
philistines that the audience obviously consisted of.

We have to confess we've said a few unpleasant things about 
Tonya's singing ability in the past, but that's been largely 
based on a few short clips - and besides, at that stage we hadn't 
heard Pasha Grischuk. Now you have the chance to make up your own 
mind, as you can now actually buy one of Tonya's recordings. A 
recording of "Amazing Grace" sung by Tonya, with Greg, Linda and 
their niece Shannon and which was played on the CBS "Good 
Morning" show is now available at a cost of $US15:00 for a CD 
(and yes, we're also disappointed that there's no 8-track tape 
version too). For the real hard-core Tonyaphile we recommend you 
go for the autographed CD which is only $US25:00 - certainly 
worth at least that as a collectors item, no matter what your 
verdict turns out to be on Tonya's vocal talents. All profits 
(and hopefully there will be some) will be split between the 
Lewises and Tonya.

Also available are recordings by the Lewises of two songs they 
wrote in Tonya's honor, entitled "It's Tonya's Turn" and "She's 
Fire On Ice", which were played on TV and radio worldwide at the 
time of The Incident. The two songs are available on two separate 
cassettes at $US5:00 each (or $US10:00 if you want them 
personally autographed by Tonya), or you can get them together on 
one CD for $US15:00. To order any of these recordings, send your 
name, full postal address and preferably a phone number or e-mail 
address to the same address as above (along with some money, of 
course). 

If they sell well, hey, with a bit of luck maybe we might see an 
album sometime from our very own Ice Girl (although calling it 
"Tonya's Greatest Hits" might give some people the wrong idea). 

And yes, in case you're wondering, we're still trying to get that 
duet with Johnny Rotten organized...


MORE TONYA PHOTOS

Since our last issue we've come up with a few more sources for 
pictures of Tonya:

- David House has now added some pics from the "Breaking The Ice" 
  special to his photo gallery at:

  http://www.davidhouse.com/tonya/images/index.html

- www.figure-skating.com has pictures from various Olympic and 
  U.S. National competitions, including several of Tonya.

- Roland Dong has some nice photos of Tonya on his Web site. See:

  http://www.bais.com/~roland/Skate/Photos/Tonya/tonya.html

- Footagenet (www.footagenet.com) is a search engine for 
  searching stock footage libraries, including those of major TV 
  news organizations. A quick search pulled up lots of stuff 
  about Tonya. Note that this service is geared towards 
  professional broadcasters who want footage for commercial use 
  rather than fans who just want their own VHS cassette, so their 
  fees are correspondingly high, but if you're a professional 
  filmmaker looking for Tonya video, that's the place to start.


LANGUAGE BARRIER - OR, WHAT PART OF "BANNED FOR LIFE" DON'T YOU 
UNDERSTAND, MIKE?

It's a well known fact that many words and phrases tend to have 
different meanings in different parts of the world, even those 
that ostensibly speak the same language. The United States is, of 
course, no exception to this rule - indeed it appears that some 
phrases have entirely opposite meanings even in places only a few 
hundred kilometers apart, as a recent example confirms.

Take, for instance, the phrase "banned for life": it seems pretty 
obvious to most literate people what that actually means. Yet it 
appears that in the state of Nevada, it actually means "banned 
for only a little over a year". At least, it does to the Nevada 
State Athletic Commission. Yes, they're the people who decided to 
give "Iron Mike" Tyson his boxing license back a few days ago, a 
little over a year after the notorious earbiting incident that we 
reported in our issue of July 7, 1997.

Part of the reason may be that Tyson has managed to dupe two more 
respectable sportspeople, Muhammed Ali and Magic Johnson, into 
supporting his cause. Or maybe the local Vegas mafiosi put the 
hard word on the Athletic Commission boys, suggesting they might 
be propping up the foundations of the next Vegas casino if they 
didn't toe the line. None of this is surprising; after all, 
boxing in recent years has been vying with ice dancing and pro 
wrestling as the sport with the least credibility, thanks to 
people like Tyson and some very iffy judging decisions. This is 
just another nail it its coffin as a serious sporting activity. 
Certainly Tyson didn't seem to take the hearing seriously, 
pulling faces and spewing out f-words at the hearing panel.

But what really irks us is the fact that in the nearby state of 
Colorado, the term "banned for life" seems to have an entirely 
different meaning. There, "banned for life" seems to mean exactly 
what it says as far as the USFSA is concerned. 

Some people may, of course, praise the USFSA for holding its 
ground in this manner while other, weaker, sports organizations 
succumb to the lure of the quick buck. They may point out that 
there's no inconsistency because skating fans and boxing fans are 
largely mutually exclusive groups, and that most skating fans 
probably wouldn't approve of Tyson's reinstatement any more than 
we do. But we have to wonder whether the average sports viewer, 
or indeed, media commentator, is quite so discriminating. How 
many of the sports columnists who were quick to condemn Tonya 
back in '94 will be welcoming back Tyson to the ring with open 
arms - which could be as close as December, according to some 
rumors?

Rather, we feel that what this really shows is that the position 
of the USFSA on the Tonya Harding matter now has even less 
credibility than boxing. If the Tyson decision is ludicrously 
wimpish, then the USFSA's life ban is unnecessarily harsh. If a 
further example is necessary, one need look no further than UK 
soccer player Paolo Di Canio who assaulted a referee recently in 
front of thousands of soccer fans after being sent off. His 
penalty? a two MONTH ban, and a fine of approximately a week's 
wages - all for what has been described as one of the worst cases 
of referee abuse on record. The case against Tonya is based on 
flimsy circumstantial evidence and the claims of two very 
unreliable conspirators while as Tyson's actions were seen by 
millions around the world, as was Di Canio's. Chances are these 
guy's transgressions will be forgotten in six months time, while 
Tonya sits on the sidelines, still labeled as the Queen of Clubs.

Why the difference? Is it just a regional language problem, sort 
of like the term "sexual relationship" meaning a different thing 
to people in DC than it does in the rest of the country? Is it 
just money? Or perhaps it's because Tyson and Di Canio are MEN - 
and what can you expect with all that testosterone floating about 
but a bit of violence?

Whatever the story, let's hope that all those people on 
rec.sport.skating.ice.figure who are so ready to defend the 
USFSA's actions over Tonya will be consistent and turn off and 
tune out when Tyson's next boxing match comes on the TV.

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VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:

PortIce - http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Stadium/1190
Roy Edwards (formerly 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
Swan Lake - http://members.tripod.com/~TonyaHarding/index.html
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