NOTE: in the issue of the Portlandian reproduced below, it was stated that Michael Rosenberg
of Marco Entertainment was now acting as Tonya's agent. Since this issue was published, we
have received further information that clarifies Michael's exact role in relation to Tonya.
Michael has informed us that he has not, at this stage, formally signed Tonya on as a client,
but is acting only as an advisor. Michael says that he supports Tonya as a friend and is
currently considering the best avenues by which to get Tonya back into mainstream skating.
The staff of the Portlandian apologise for this error and any confusion it may have caused.
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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News
January 29, 1999 Edition - NEW AGENT FOR TONYA
(C) 1999 Portland Ice Skating Society
We are pleased to kick off this extra-large issue with a piece of
news that marks a major development in the campaign to get Tonya
back into skating. It's easily the biggest Tonya story of the
year to date, and probably the biggest since the Lillehammer
Olympics. In fact, it's bigger than Shawn Eckardt's boxer shorts
and a heck of alot more interesting. It is something that is good
news for all true figure skating fans.
TONYA RE-SIGNS WITH ROSENBERG
Tonya has now signed with a new agent, Michael Rosenberg, and his
company Marco Entertainment. Unlike some of her previous agents,
Rosenberg is not another used-car salesman selling dirty pictures
of Bill Clinton's mistresses to girly magazines, but is in fact a
real SKATING agent, one of the most established and respected in
the business, with a stable of over 50 other top name skaters.
Indeed, he was Tonya's own agent up until late 1993 when he was
forced out by Gillooly. However, as Rosenberg elaborated on the
E! special, he feels that Tonya has been punished enough and that
she should be allowed to return to skating. Accordingly, he has
decided to take her back as a client.
Rosenberg is the senior manager/agent in the ice skating world,
having begun his career representing Dorothy Hamill eighteen
years ago. He has managed the skating careers of over 20 Olympic
or World gold medalists including Hamill, Oksana Baiul, Linda
Fratianne, Viktor Petrenko and Pasha Grishuk/Evgeny Platov. The
firm currently represents 53 champion skaters from eight
different countries. MARCO reported pre-tax client earnings of
over $5 million in 1997 and commissions and/or tour profits in
excess of $1 million. The company produces the annual Elvis
Stojko tour in Canada, as well as several made-for-television
skating events. Present headline stars include U.S. champion Rudy
Galindo, French Olympic medalists Marina Anissina and Gwendal
Peizerat, U.S. legends Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, French
sensation Surya Bonaly, five-time U.S. champions Elizabeth
Punsalan and Jerod Swallow and Canadian sweetheart Elizabeth
Rosenberg, 55, has garnered several TV award nominations in both
the U.S. and Canada for the production of skating specials,
including the Tai Babilonia movie-of-the-week, ``The World Cup of
Figure Skating'' and Elizabeth Manley variety specials in Canada.
MARCO celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1997 and has represented
during that tenure such diverse stars as singers Peggy Lee and
Johnny Rivers, Hall of Fame football coach George Allen and PGA
golfer Wayne Levi. Rosenberg also produced the Budweiser
Superfest concert series starring Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin
and Smokey Robinson.
Formerly the head of marketing of Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey Circus and the Bicentennial American Freedom Train
Foundation, Rosenberg is a highly decorated veteran of the
Vietnam War, where he served in the Air Force during the period
Rosenberg's current project is a major skating spectacular that
will take place at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing next
month on the 18th. Skaters appearing include Petr Barna, Olympic
Bronze Medalist; Calla Urbanksi & Rocky Marval, U.S. National
Champions; Karen Preston, National Champion of Canada; Eric
Millot, World Bronze Medalist; Viacheslav Zagorudniuk, World
Bronze Medalist; Zuzanna Szwed, National Champion of Poland and
Natalie & Wayne Seybold, U.S. Silver Medalists. The show will be
directed and choreographed by World Professional Champion Robert
Clearly, the fact that Tonya now has such a powerful player in
the figure skating business on her side as an ally is excellent
news for Tonyaphiles and all those who love to see skating talent
allowed to excel. It represents a serious body blow to the
conspiracy that has kept Tonya largely off the ice for the past
four and a half years and will clearly be major worry for the
skating establishment, who now find their anti-Tonya plans are
skating on thin ice. And it goes without saying that "The
Portlandian", the Internet's premier source of Tonya news, will
keep you fully informed as Michael plans Tonya's comeback.
TONYA SPECIAL RE!VIEW
By now, many Tonyaphiles will have seen the Tonya special that
screened on the E! Entertainment network last week. For those who
didn't, the Skate Puppetboy site has kindly provided a review, an
edited version of which follows. The complete version can be
found at their site at http://www.puppetland.com :
After the usual introductory material, (and aside from a
massive amount of commercials, which unfortunately is par for
the course on the channel) the E! special actually got down to
some interesting content, most of which consisted of fresh
interviews with Tonya.
Tonya talked about her difficulties in transforming from the
sexy jumper/skater she was into the delicate, artistic China-
doll others wanted her to be. As Tonya says, "...when I was
skating to Sinatra music, it was very hard for me to
concentrate on doing my jumps when I was really trying to
concentrate on following through with my fingertips and my
chin and everything else, I mean, it totally was not me."
We hear from "Shane Stant--Hitman" who claims that Tonya knew
about the planned attack on Kerrigan, but I really don't want
to repeat any material from a "hit-man" who could barely
manage to rough up a female figure skater. Fortunately, the E!
special gives Tonya ample opportunity to relate the mis-
treatment she received at the hands of Jeff Gil-Stone. One of
the most interesting revelations from Tonya concerns the
pressure she received from the USFSA after her divorce from
Gil-Stone. Seems that a figure skating automaton needs a happy
family life to be accepted, talent be damned.
Tonya explains that in a phone call a USFSA member told her
"they thought I had a stable life with him [Gil-Stone], and
that I needed to be with him or I may not get the marks that I
The E! special asked the USFSA about this, and were given the
usual "no comment."
We see a lot of interview tape with Michael Rosenberg, who
essentially blames Gil-Stone for breaking up the agent-client
relationship between himself and Tonya.
The E! special then tries to create a duel-that-wasn't-there
between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. It is not a question
of whether Tonya could outskate Kerrigan. That's pretty much a
given. Whether the Gil-Stone-era Tonya could concentrate on
skating well enough to outskate Kerrigan is another question.
Whether Tonya had a chance given the USFSA's preference for
China doll skaters is yet another.
Tonya's father, Al Harding, claims that Gil-Stone admitted to
him that he and a poorly-fashioned goon squad put together the
lame attack on Kerrigan and that Tonya didn't know about it.
Al insists that Tonya wanted to beat Nancy "on the ice."
In the most disturbing moment of the program, Tonya relates
being taken up to the mountains and threatened with death by
Gil-Stone et al. Tonya is, we know, a pretty good actress.
Nonetheless, her intimations of physical and mental abuse in
this desolate mountain setting are upsetting.
Tonya's legal moves against the USOC are mentioned, and then
we finally are informed that Nancy came in second at the
Olympics in Norway and Tonya finished eighth.
A point the special doesn't fail to pick up on, and even
"Brownie" Brennan gets this right, is that figure skating was
never so popular as it was after the Harding-Kerrigan
incident. As Brennan says between bouts of Nancy-worship,
"Anyone in figure skating who doesn't bow once a day towards
Portland, Oregon and say, 'Thank you, Tonya Harding' is nuts."
Dorothy Hamill is trotted out to agree with the above, in some
contrast to earlier comments by Brian Boitano, who claimed
that the incident took the emphasis off the competition (wake
We get the details of the plea bargain, and if anyone ever
tells you that Tonya got away with anything, just give them a
run-down of these stipulations: 1) THREE years probation, 2)
$50,000 donation to the Special Olympics, 3) $100,000 fine, 4)
resignation from the USFSA, 5) 500 hours of community service.
Tonya, of course, is still being punished, although all the
goons involved got out of jail a long time ago.
When the USFSA screwed Tonya by banning her for life, they
also, according to Rosenberg, made it clear that appearing
with Tonya would spell the end of a figure skater's career.
As Rosenberg says, "Here was one of the greatest athletes in
the world, banned from her life." As usual, the USFSA could
not be reached for comment.
We get a few comments from Tonya on her second husband. We
hear about the "life-saving" in the bar, and the "kidnapping"
(with more bile from Brennan's jealous mouth). There may be a
book on the way. (If it ever comes out, I volunteer to
personally whack Christine Brennan in the head with it.)
Rosenberg explains that the USFSA/USOC will never forgive
Tonya because she dared to stand up to them. Even the
special's narrator Phil Crowley can be heard to say that Tonya
"defied the stereotype of the Olympic figure skater." Yup. And
that, really, is what the USFSA and USOC cannot forgive. As
Tonya observes, "I apologized so many times, I paid my price,
and people just won't give me a second chance."
And yes, we agree with what Tonya says about Sinatra; we think
that "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" by The Ramones would be much more
PEGASUS TIMES TONYA SITE
Another Tonya related site has surfaced in the past few days. L.
D. Smith has a site with many beautiful pictures of Tonya (plus
many other skaters). It can be found at:
David House has also given his site a makeover for the New Year,
while the Official Tonya site operated by Roy Edwards has been
deluged with messages of support since the screening of the E!
TAKING OUT THE GARBAGE IN LAUSANNE
In a closed door meeting in Switzerland over the weekend, the
International Olympic Committee attempted to salvage what's left
of its sorry reputation in the wake of the shocking bribery and
corruption scandal that surfaced just before Christmas. As
revelations of sleaze and disreputable practices continue to pour
out, information has emerged that strongly suggests Salt Lake
City is not the only Olympic site that has been tainted. It has
been revealed that Sydney established a "development fund" for
several African countries to support its bid, whilst Japanese
businessman Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, who owns extensive amounts of
property including ski resorts in the Nagano area, donated $10
million to one of Samaranch's favorite projects, the IOC museum
in Lausanne. It has also been discovered that the Nagano bid
committee's accounts have conveniently been destroyed, supposedly
due to "lack of storage space".
Pushed into a corner, Samaranch has finally been forced to act. A
reformed bidding process has been proposed, and five IOC members
have been suspended. Four others have already resigned, one has
been given a warning, and three more are still being
investigated. Another of those accused died several months ago.
But while on the face of it this all seems to be good news, a
closer look shows it's just another sham from the man who really
should be nick-named "Scamaranch". For a start, he himself
refuses to resign, claiming that it would be like a captain
deserting his ship in a storm. But his analogy is flawed: storms
are Acts of God, while as the current mess has largely been
caused by Samaranch himself, a man whose entire life has been
spent bribing and palm-greasing his way up the totem pole, first
as a leading Fascist, later as an IOC member.
Samaranch may be unaware that "Olympic" was the name of a sister
ship of the Titanic. We feel that a better (not to mention more
trendy) seafaring comparison might be with the captain of the
Titanic, who plowed on through an icefield arrogantly assuming
his vessel was unsinkable. But while as Captain Smith nobly went
down with his ship, Samaranch stays on board solely because he's
desperate to selfishly cling onto the lavish limousine and five-
star hotel lifestyle he enjoys as IOC head. If he's not careful,
the Olympic movement itself may suffer the same fate as the
Titanic as disgusted athletes, sponsors and consumers rush for
the lifeboats to escape the foul stench now reeking from
Half-hearted reform is not enough: the entire IOC needs to be
made more democratic and its processes more transparent. A start
must be made with Samaranch's resignation, a call that has been
echoed in leading newspapers around the world including The Times
(England), Le Monde (France), Asahi Shimbun (Japan), Bild
(Germany), The New York Post and The Australian. Nor must he
merely be replaced by another of his ilk; the fact that the USOC
still publicly supports Samaranch shows that they haven't got the
message and are not fit to offer any alternative. The aging
commies, facsists, crony capitalist bootlickers and other pirates
must be forced to walk the plank and be replaced by able sports
administrators elected on merit for fixed terms. Only then can
the true spirit of Olympism and athleticism that is personified
by athletes such as Tonya be restored.
PS: We have a couple of rare photos of Samaranch on our site that
he's very anxious you never see. Check out:
You can also now visit "Lords of The Rings" author Andrew
Jennings' own website for more on the current scandal:
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
Charlie Main - http://www.charliesweb.com/tonya/tonya.html
Puppetboy - http://www.puppetland.com/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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