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

March 1, 1999 Edition - WEBSITE FIRST BIRTHDAY ISSUE
(C) 1999 Portland Ice Skating Society
http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Stadium/1190
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CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF AGGRESSIVE PRACTICE

Last month was a great month on all fronts for Tonyaphiles. 
Firstly, the PortIce web site has now been on-line for a whole 
year, proudly pushing the pro-Tonya view that the skating 
establishment would rather be silenced. And secondly it has seen 
several appearances by Tonya in the media, a sure sign that Tonya 
is on her way back.


TONYA THE TV STAR

February has been a hectic month for Tonya; following hard on the 
heels of the recent E! Entertainment channel's Tonya special have 
been three more Tonya TV appearances: on the 9th was a brief two-
minute spot on "Hard Copy", followed by a session on Portland 
station KPTV's "Good Morning Oregon" show on Tuesday 16th, whilst 
last Thursday saw Tonya appear live on the NBC network's "Today" 
show, the highlight of which was a performance at the Rockefeller 
Center in New York. This was the first time Tonya has skated live 
on TV since Lillehammer, five years ago. 

The "Hard Copy" segment revealed that Tonya has moved to a large 
rented house where she lives with her boyfriend of 18 months, an 
electrician called Darren, along with their 15 month old Mastiff 
puppy Dakota. As for the "Today" show appearance, Reports are 
that Tonya skated a good, clean, if unspectacular routine 
featuring a double Salchow. Although the absence of a Triple Axel 
(and indeed, any triple jumps at all) will obviously be a 
disappointment for Tonyaphiles, given the circumstances under 
which the performance took place (a small, unprepared outdoor 
rink in freezing, windy weather), the choice to skate a 
conservative program was a wise one. And Tonya claims that she 
landed a Triple Axel as recently as a month ago, which indicates 
we have not seen the last of Tonya's amazing jumping. If you 
missed the show, check out the official Tonya site at:

http://www.tonyaharding.com

where some images and even a short video clip are available. 
Webmaster Roy Edwards assures us that more pictures of Tonya's 
trip will soon follow.

Perhaps of more significance than the actual skating was Tonya's 
claim in an interview on that show that there are several other 
top-level skaters who are not only willing but eager to skate 
with her.

Nor is this the last of Tonya we'll be seeing on TV in the near 
future: just before her "Today" show appearance, Tonya and her 
Godmother, Linda Lewis, had flown in from Los Angeles where they 
had just finished taping a spot for the "Roseanne" show. The air 
date is listed as 4th March. We suggest you check the Roseanne 
site at:

http://www.theroseanneshow.com/thisweek/index.html 

just in case there is a last minute change.


NEW JOB FOR TONYA

Yet another piece of good news is that Tonya has just landed a 
job coaching at the Lloyd Center, one of two rinks in the 
Portland area. This represents another opportunity for Tonya to 
put something back into the sport she has spent almost her whole 
life involved in.


TOP LEVEL MEETING MAY CLEAR WAY FOR TONYA TO SKATE

Last month's USFSA Championships not only saw some great figure 
skating and Michelle Kwan's third victory in the ladies title, it 
also saw a high-level meeting take place between an important 
Tonyaphile and USFSA officials, a meeting that may hopefully ease 
the way for Tonya to get back onto the ice with other top-grade 
skaters in the near future.

Last issue we reported that Michael Rosenberg, Tonya's first 
manager and a prominent figure in the skating world was again 
acting as her agent. As it turns out, this was not quite correct 
- it appears that Michael has not yet formally signed Tonya as a 
client but is only acting as an advisor. However, on Thursday 11, 
Michael had important discussions with former USFSA President 
Morry Stillwell and other officials at the Tom Collins reception 
at Nationals in Salt Lake City. At this meeting, Mr Stillwell and 
the other officials assured Michael that while as they had no 
intention of allowing Tonya back into their organization, they 
would not attempt to interfere in any way with any attempt by 
Tonya to develop a career outside the USFSA.

In order to understand the signifcance of this meeting, it is 
necessary to first understand the different types of skating 
competitions that exist. Hard-core skating fans will be aware 
that there are essentially three different categories of skating 
competitions: "Olympic Eligible" skating (often erroneously 
referred to as "amateur" skating) is controlled in the US by the 
USFSA. "Ineligible" skating (often called "pro" skating) has no 
central control at all, being in the hands of dozens of different 
promoters and organizers. And then there are the so-called "Pro-
Am" competitions that see both types of skaters competing on the 
same ice. In order for "Eligible" skaters to compete in a Pro-Am 
competition it must be sanctioned (i.e. approved) by the USFSA, 
otherwise the skater may risk losing their eligible status.

In June 1994 Tonya was banned for life from eligible competitions 
by the USFSA, a ban that to this day still remains in place. In 
addition, the policy of the USFSA appears to be not to sanction 
any Pro-Am competitions that include Tonya as a participant as 
well. In theory, this should still leave Tonya free to 
participate in the so-called "ineligible" or pro competitions, 
but for several reasons this has never happened. One is because 
there is strong evidence that some top skaters have "no-Tonya" 
clauses in their contracts that basically say "if she skates, I 
don't". The other is an apparently widespread belief that the 
USFSA would somehow blackball any pro skater that took the ice 
with Tonya, or any promoter that invited her to skate.

Although the USFSA in theory has no influence over pro contests, 
it's sheer size and importance in the U.S. figure skating scene 
makes it difficult to ignore. The USFSA is in effect the 
Microsoft of figure skating - they're such a dominant player in 
the US skating scene it's virtually impossible to avoid dealing 
with them whether you like them or not. Thus, their promise not 
to interfere with any attempts to develop a pro career for Tonya 
is welcome news. Exactly how much value such a promise is worth 
we'll leave it to our readers to judge, however, we will 
certainly not hesitate to publish any hard evidence of such 
interference that comes our way.

Recent reports say that Michael Rosenberg is now working on a 
Tonya comeback next fall. "I'm working on three new programs. I'm 
coaching myself but hopefully, down the road, I'll get some other 
help with choreography on the new programs," said Tonya in a 
recent press interview. In addition, Tonya also indicated that 
Rosenberg has several offers in the works including a television 
commercial that she is particularly excited about. 

What better way to see in the new millenium than with Tonya's 
return to skating?


DISTINGUISHED JOURNALIST CALLS FOR TONYA'S RETURN

Well-known skating journalist Christine Brennan, author of the 
bestsellers "Inside Edge" and "Edge of Glory", has also echoed 
the call for Tonya to be allowed to skate in pro contests in a 
recent "USA Today" article. Brennan believes that with the next 
Olympics three years away and heavily contaminated by scandal, 
Tonya's knack for getting the public eye would be a welcome 
revitalization for skating.

"Who knows what she'll do next? But whatever it is, figure 
skating -- the less serious, show-style side of the sport -- 
might as well go along for the ride" says Brennan.


WEBSITE NEWS

As mentioned above, Roy Edwards has added new images from Tonya's 
"Today" show appearance to his site. He has also now switched the 
"leave a message to Tonya" facility back on that was temporarliy 
disabled for a few days.

Meanwhile, Charlie Main's site has been a victim of it's own 
success; it appears it's getting so many hits that the bill is 
getting quite large. Charlie has therefore temporarily suspended 
operation of his web site until he can find another web hosting 
service that aren't such a pack of greedy bastards as his current 
mob. We hope that this won't take too long and wish him a speedy 
return to the Web. It just goes to show how popular Tonya really 
is!

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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
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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