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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News
March 11, 2002 Edition - LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!
(C) 2002 Portland Ice Skating Society
Last issue you'll remember we reported that Tonya had been
offered big bucks to step into a boxing ring with other
"notorious" celebrities. At the time we didn't take this too
seriously because it seemed too outlandish to be real. We should
have known better - when it comes to Tonya NOTHING is too bizarre
Originally scheduled against "Amy get your gun" Fisher, the so-
called "Long Island Lolita", the match has been remounted against
Paula Jones after Fisher's parole board decided they didn't like
the idea (at least that's the official story - our theory is that
Amy had a terminal case of wimpishness when she realized who she
was up against). Paula says her biggest concern is about her nose
getting damaged. We think she'll have to worry about a lot more
than her nose in a fight with Tonya. Tonya is an athlete in
superb physical shape, with great upper body strength, and will
be more than a match for her. Tonya was also given some good
training before the match, and had a sponsor, The Golden Palace
Online Casino (www.goldenpalace.com). They have sponsored some
famous boxing champions in the past and Tonya is the first female
boxer that they have sponsored.
Tonya has asked us to reassure her fans that she is still a
figure skater, and at this time has no plans to change her sport.
So for all those who have written with that concern, please know
that she still loves figure skating, and hopes to still skate for
all of you again.
The show screens on the Fox channel (what else) on Wednesday the
13th at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT in the spot normally occupied by
"Bernie Mac" & "Titus". There will be three bouts, each going for
three rounds, with the other two cards being a "Patridge Family"
vs "Brady Bunch" match (Danny Bonaduce vs Barry Williams) and
rapper Vanilla Ice fighting Todd Bridges from "Diff'rent Strokes"
(hey, at least it isn't Gary Coleman). Other celebrities who have
been approached for possible future bouts include Fisher's ex-
lover Joey Buttafuoco, and Darva Conger, the former emergency
room nurse who enjoyed a brief 15 seconds of fame after being
married to a millionaire for only slightly longer a couple of
years back (but we all knew Darva would eventually pop up in
something like this, didn't we)? The organizers claim this will
be a real boxing match, although they don't say whether this
includes rigged judging like Olympic boxing, or whether Paula
will try to bite Tonya's ear off. However you can find out more
details, including some photos, at these links:
One of the greatest boxers of all time was, of course, Muhammed
Ali, who was famous for his poetic predictions of what was going
to happen to his opponents in the ring. We don't know whether
Tonya is into writing poetry, but here at the Special Duties
Section we've come up with some poetry of our own to describe the
way we think the fight will go down:
A guy who devised programming for Fox,
said "here's an idea - let's get Tonya to box!"
The execs said "Perfect! We love this schlock,
It means lots more money for Rupert Murdoch"!
The critics lambasted the idea as trash,
but Rupert is happy; he'll make lots of cash.
The show is sure to be a high rater,
featuring such a notorious skater.
The battle was set with Long Island's Lolita,
then Amy pulled out, knowing Tonya would beat her.
The match was rescheduled with Paula Jones,
but we think she'll go down with a couple of groans.
Tonya's not just a skater, she's also a fighter,
(unlike Mike Tyson - he's just an ear-biter).
She'll axel & lutz around her opponent,
dodging the blows, and then pick her moment.
Whether skating or boxing, Tonya won't stumble,
she'll polish off Paula in this little rumble.
She'll go down in two rounds, not one second longer,
Then Tonya can move on to fight Darva Conger!
KUBE "T-MAN" PROMOTION
February was a busy month for Tonya; during the last week of the
Salt Lake City games she was in Seattle acting as "Olympic
commentator" for a local radio station, KUBE-93 FM, guesting for
four days on something called the "T-man show". Although based in
Seattle, some of their programming (such as "T-man") is carried
as far away as Anchorage. Highlights of Tonya's time on air with
T-man included a hub-cap tossing contest, a guy calling himself
"Pasty Dave Gillooly" kneewhacking passers-by with a plastic bat,
an in-depth discussion of Tonya's home movies and something
called the "T-man Icecapades". This took place at the nearby Kent
Valley ice arena and featured members of T-man's "dysfunctional
family" (who have names like "MoFo" and "Gay Phone Operator")
clubbing a pinata doll dressed like a certain famous New England
skater to bits, a "bare ass on ice" contest (which Tonya did not
participate in) and strippers on ice. The climax of the
"Icecapades" featured Tonya recreating one of her programs from
the 1994 Olympics, with commentary provided by Rick Rizzs who
does commentary for the Seattle Mariners. Unfortunately the
satellite that carries T-man's show to KUBE's affiliates went off
the air during this performance (though not the Internet feed,
fortunately), so radio listeners outside of Seattle missed out.
We don't know what caused this, but it does seem more than just a
coincidence that the satellite uplink is located in Colorado, the
same state as the headquarters of a certain large skating
Whilst in Seattle Tonya also made promotional appearances at a
local Ford dealership and the Riverside casino, with KUBE 93
doing live remote broadcasts from both venues. At the casino
Tonya signed many autographs, and had her picture taken with the
guests, as well as doing some commentary during the Olympic
ladies long program.
Linda Lewis has more details of Tonya's week:
She had a great time, and had so much fun with the host and
crew on the show. They are a great bunch of people, as well as
the listeners, who they refer to as their dysfunctional
family. Go to their website to see the pictures they took, and
read about her week with them. While in Seattle, she was also
the guest at the Riverside Casino, where KUBE93FM did a remote
live broadcast. Tonya signed many autographs, and had her
picture taken with the guests, as well as doing some
commentary during the ladies long program. They had a large
screen TV set up for the guests, so they could watch.
The next day, KUBE had their own ice capades (spoof of course)
at the new Kent ice arena, in Kent WA, about 20 minutes out of
Seattle. Tonya skated a great program for a closed audience of
listeners that were chosen to be there. They were the judges
and gave Tonya all 6.0's for points. They gave her the Gold!!
Rick Rizzs, who does the on air commentary for the Seattle
Mariners, did a live on air commentary while Tonya was
skating. It was hilarious. Some of it went like this... now
Tonya is spinning, spinning, spinning, ponytail, ponytail,
ponytail... etc. He was so funny! They also had several other
skits, which were equally funny. I wish you all could have
been there. You can see pictures from the event on their
Then she went on to sign more autographs as the guest of New
Wilson Ford, also known as Pierre Auto centers. KUBE93 did a
live remote from there also. She met so many nice fans, and
had a great time. Tonya wants to thank KUBE93FM and the
listeners, and especially T-man and "Hot Shot" and Terry, and
the family members, and the producers of the show, for a
wonderful week. I also want to thank you all so much. It was
nice to see Tonya treated with so much respect.
A couple of other interesting things that did come out of Tonya's
time on air with T-man: she confirmed that she has made up with
her mother, something that was hinted at in her Larry King
interview a few months back. And it also appears she's ditched
hub-cap man Darren Silver, as she's been dating some new guy
since early February. Apparently he's some friend of the family
of long standing, though she wouldn't give his name on air. You
can see more of Tonya's Seattle appearances, including plenty of
photos, at the URL's below:
KUBE 93 isn't the only media appearance Tonya has been doing
recently: she also did a couple of appearances on Tom Arnold's
"The Best Damn Sport Show Period". One of these includes a
commercial playing recently on Fox Sports Net that features Tonya
as a check-out clerk at the show's shop who is confronted with a
customer with 13 items at an express checkout counter where the
limit is only 12. Tonya mutters, "You have 13 items here". "Maybe
you'll just let it slide this one time" the customer says. Tonya
thinks about it, then picks up the soft-sided cooler, throws it
at his head, and says, "Now you've got 12."
A few weeks ago Tonya also did a cameo appearance for a huge auto
dealership in Portland, which was apparently quite funny. Later
in February Tonya was also on "Entertainment Tonight", on the
weekend of 9 & 10 Feb, and also "Inside Edition" on the 23rd. The
controversy over the judging of the pairs skating at the Olympics
also resulted in Tonya getting more air time. Her manager says
Tonya's best wishes go out to David and Jamie, as well as
the Russian pair. She understands the politics that go on behind
the scene in figure skating (as indeed do we).
A CLARIFICATION ABOUT TONYA'S HOUSING SITUATION
Linda would also like us to know that contrary to what was
reported in the media a couple of months back, she isn't Tonya's
room-mate - her name was on the lease solely for business
reasons. Yet another example of how the media can't be bothered
getting the facts straight with Tonya.
TONYA APPEARANCE RAISES MONEY FOR SEPT. 11 VICTIMS
Last September, as you will recall, Tonya appeared on the TV game
show "The Weakest Link". This appearance was widely publicized in
the media, but one aspect of it probably wasn't, namely that this
appearance netted $10,000 for the charity NOVA (National
Organization for Victims Assistance), a group whose beneficiaries
include victims and their families of the September 11 attacks.
Linda Lewis, Tonya's manager, has sent us this message about the
Tonya and I want to send our warmest, sincere sympathy to all
who suffered so much loss in the WTC, and Pentagon, and plane
crash victims and families. We love America, and are so proud
of the way you have all pulled together to help each other
get through this. It was such a shock to all of us. We had
been in New York just a few weeks prior to the horrible
attacks. I'm sure that we will overcome this, and please know
that Tonya would love to skate for the victims and their
families if given the chance.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
The day after Christmas, Tonya flew to France, where she skated
in a Christmas show for French Television, along with many of the
top singles and pair skaters from France. Linda reports Tonya had
a ball, and skated great. "It was wonderful to see her skate
again", says Linda, who accompanied her on the trip. Several
months ago Tonya broke her sternum and this was her first skating
since the accident. Whether this special will ever make it to TV
elsewhere in the world is not known, but it sounds like something
to keep an eye out for.
SLASHER FILM DIRECTOR OFFERS MOVIE ROLE TO TONYA
Mark Mason, a film director from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has offered
Tonya a starring role in his next movie.
Mason's first and to date only film is "Partycrasher", which is
your standard homicidal-maniac-in-a-hockey-mask-hacks-up-
scantily-clad-nympho-teenagers-with-a-chainsaw type exercise, but
don't hold that against him - our own Peter Jackson got his start
doing similar kind of stuff, and look where he ended up. After
sitting on a shelf for some years, "Partycrasher" was released in
2000 and according to the official web site has accumulated 40,000
rentals so far. A sequel may eventuate.
Don't be fooled, however, into thinking that Tonya is going play
some bimbo cheerleader getting chopped to bits with a rotary hoe.
Mason's next film is to be something quite different and more
serious: a "Rocky" type story of a boxer trying to make a
comeback. Tonya would play the boxer's wife. Others lined up for
involvement include boxer Leon Spinks and character actor Gailard
Sartain. Mason himself was involved in organizing boxing contests
back in the '80's and also worked for the World Wrestling
Federation, so this is a territory he knows well.
There's no word yet on whether Tonya has signed onto this
project, though we hope she does. We believe that Tonya has great
potential as an actress and that this is a good chance for her to
resume the career that fell by the wayside after "Breakaway".
You can find more info on "Partycrasher" (and its proposed
FRENCH CONNECTION II:
Since our lengthy coverage of the pairs judging scandal that
blighted the Olympics, there have been further developments: now
Marie-Reine Le Gougne, the French judge who is at the center of
the scandal, is claiming it was the CANADIANS, not the Russians,
who pressured her, a complete contradiction to what she was
initially reported as saying. Le Gougne now completely denies any
pressure from her Federation, saying it was all a trap by the
American media. An Associated Press report quotes Le Gougne as
saying "for 12 hours or so I wasn't myself", although exactly who
she really was she didn't elaborate.
Le Gougne's ever changing accounts of what went on raise some
interesting questions: for instance, is she actually a nutcase?
Or is she someone just trying to save her sorry ass now that the
scam has been blown? It's tempting to think so. Certainly her
retraction is inconsistent with statements made by Jon Jackson,
an ISU judge and a lawyer, who has said he was present during the
exchange with Sally Stapleford when Le Gougne is alleged to have
said to her: "I did this for my dance team. It's a deal with the
Russians, first place for first place." But is there something
even more sinister going on? Those who know Le Gougne say that
until this incident she had a reputation as being a qualified and
reliable judge. Le Gougne herself has claimed that she has been
"subjected to a series of physical and verbal attacks". Is Le
Gougne being used as a scapegoat for dirty deals being done
Whatever the truth is, the fuss over Le Gougne should not be
allowed to distract attention from the bigger issue: that this is
a sport which is in deep trouble and has serious credibility
problems. Corruption, deal making and incompetence are rampant in
a way that would make Enron look honest. Let's make no mistake:
eligible skating has long left behind any pretense of being
amateur. It is now a business and should be subject to the same
laws as other businesses. And any other business with this much
scandal would probably be being investigated by the FBI for fraud
and racketeering. The USFSA is effectively the Microsoft of US
eligible skating and deserves the same scrutiny from the
Department of Justice as the software giant. No longer should it
be allowed to maintain a monopoly over the important route to the
VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:
PortIce - http://www.geocities.com/portice
David House - http://www.tonyaharding.org
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
Blades of Gold - http://members.tripod.com/tmhfan/index.html
Pegasus Times - http://www.pegasustimes.com/harding/
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