TTTTT H   H  EEEEE
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PPPP   OOOO  RRRR  TTTTT L       A   N   N DDDD  I   A   N   N TM
P   P O    O R   R   T   L      A A  NN  N D   D I  A A  NN  N
PPPP  O    O RRRR    T   L     AAAAA N N N D   D I AAAAA N N N
P     O    O R   R   T   L     A   A N  NN D   D I A   A N  NN
P      OOOO  R   R   T   LLLLL A   A N   N DDDD  I A   A N   N

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

June 29, 2002 Edition 
(C) 2002 Portland Ice Skating Society
http://www.geocities.com/portice
*****************************************************************

It's been over three months since our last issue, but as we all 
know, a lot can happen in 3 months when you're Tonya!


TONYA PROVES A RATINGS KNOCKOUT FOR FOX

March saw Tonya once again back in the news for beating somebody 
up - but fortunately this time it was all legal: Tonya was 
participating in a celebrity boxing match against Paula Jones on 
the Fox network. Jones was billed as "Paula The Pounder", but as 
we predicted it was her that got the pounding, with Tonya winning 
by a TKO. The show proved to be a ratings knockout for Fox as 
well, scoring 15.5 million viewers making it the third most 
popular entertainment special of the TV season, so much so that 
it was repeated the next week and has already led to one sequel.

Dressed in a patriotic red, white and blue outfit emblazoned with 
"TNT Tonya" on the shorts, Tonya was trained by Manuel Montiel, 
former trainer for Oscar De La Hoya’s gold medal-winning bout at 
the 1992 Olympics. Paula landed one good punch in the first 
round, but from then on it was all Tonya's show. "She did well," 
Tonya said afterward. Replied Paula, "I gave it my best shot." 
Tonya's manager told us Tonya had a lot of fun doing the match as 
well.

Unfortunately, it seems that even when Tonya wins at something 
the media have to find some way of portraying her victory in a 
negative light. Once again Tonya is being denied the credit of a 
fair win with allegations of cheating, namely that she threw a 
punch at Paula Jones after Paula had conceded defeat. In fact, 
Tonya and Paula were told beforehand that there were two signals 
they could give to stop the fight: spit out their mouthguard or 
tap their gloves together. Paula did neither of these two things, 
nor had the referee stopped the bout and Tonya was right to 
assume the fight was still on (the referee was Marty Dunkin, who 
has refereed over 150 world championship boxing matches and is a 
member of the Boxing Hall of Fame, so one assumes he knows what 
he is doing). Tonya, by her own admission in a post-fight 
interview, said that she purposely held back at times because she 
may have had an advantage being an athlete. Indeed, for Tonya to 
risk disqualification by deliberately punching her opponent after 
the fight was over makes no sense at all. But then, Tonyaphobes 
never make much sense.

Many images and articles about the fight are still on-line, 
including a couple of interviews with Tonya. Fox's official site 
for the boxing at:

http://www.fox.com/boxing/boxing1/index.htm

has alot of excellent stills. The match was also heavily covered 
by E!, Entertainment Tonight and Fox News:

http://www.etonline.com/celebrity/a6889.htm
http://www.etonline.com/celebrity/a8676.htm
http://www.etonline.com/celebrity/a9425.htm
http://www.etonline.com/celebrity/a9504.htm
http://www.etonline.com/celebrity/a9595.htm

http://aol.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,9667,00.html
http://aol.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,9682,00.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,47411,00.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,48025,00.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,48286,00.html

A Tonya interview with Greta van Susteren that took place after 
the boxing match was taped but before it was screened can be 
found at:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,47942,00.html

The direct URLs for the RealMedia versions of the files are:

rtsp://st21g1.services.icdsatt.net/v1/213/1241/031302/greta_hardi
ng_031202_56.rm (lo bandwidth version)

rtsp://st21g1.services.icdsatt.net/v1/213/1241/031302/greta_hardi
ng_031202_300.rm (hi bandwidth version)

"rtsp://" is a Realplayer protocol. You can paste these URLs 
directly into the "location" box in RealPlayer. Use the lo-
bandwidth version if you are on a dialup and the hi-bandwidth 
version if you are on DSL, cable, etc. 


SWITCHED-ON TONYA

The boxing has also inspired another weird collectible: in a 
case of something that belongs in our oddities section, we 
recently came across this on e-Bay: a switch-plate featuring 
Tonya with Paula Jones.

http://www.geocities.com/portice/switchplate.jpg


IF YOU'RE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO

Last week Tonya paid a visit to San Francisco as the guest of 
several of that city's prominent citizens. Discussions were held 
about the possibility of Tonya being involved in some kind of 
charity event, possibly another celebrity boxing match. Linda 
Lewis writes:

   There's been so much negative written about Tonya in the media 
   lately, I thought the fans would like to know about the 
   successful trip she just had to San Francisco. She and I had a 
   wonderful time.

   We flew down on Monday, and returned on Tuesday. Tonya was 
   invited to come to Frisco by a civic group. They are 
   interested in her doing something for charity (a possible 
   Celebrity Boxing match). Everyone that we spent the day with 
   showed Tonya respect and want her to come back soon. The owner 
   of one of the top dress salons in the city, "Wilkes Bashford" 
   treated her to a beautiful new dress and shoes to wear to meet 
   the Mayor of San Francisco. That's right, while there, she was 
   invited to meet the wonderful Mayor of the city. He was very 
   gracious to her. He showed her around the offices of city 
   hall, and posed for pictures with her. There was a photo of 
   her with the Mayor in yesterday's San Francisco Examiner. 
   Then today, her photo was on the front page of the Examiner 
   along with a great article. The article was written by Warren 
   Hinckle, who spent the day with us. He was charmed by our 
   little Miss Tonya. The whole group that we spent the day with 
   would love to have Tonya move to San Francisco. We had a 
   wonderful time. Here's the web address to read the article for 
   yourselves.

   http://www.examiner.com/warren_hinckle/default.jsp?story=n.hin
   ckle.0619w

   Tonya wants you all to know that she's doing great, and not to 
   worry about her. She'll do what's right concerning the recent 
   DUI she received. She sends her love to all of you, and hopes 
   that you will continue to believe in her.

   Until next time,
   Love to all from Tonya and me

Linda has since sent us some photos of Tonya taken during her 
visit: one of her with the Mayor and another of her on a trolley 
bus. We've got them on line on our photos page at:

http://www.geocities.com/portice/photos.htm

along with a few other photos taken of Tonya during her trip to 
France last Christmas, and a great shot of Tonya with her 
enormous dog Koda. Linda also advises us that she now has a new 
web address that can be used to contact her for making bookings 
for Tonya:

http://hometown.aol.com/track7race/business.html

We think that Tonya moving to San Francisco would be an excellent 
idea - it sounds as if at the very least the media are more 
respectful to her there. And certainly it's hard to imagine the 
Mayor of Portland wanting to meet Tonya. Portland has never truly 
appreciated Tonya, where she has largely been treated as a joke 
and nothing more than a cheap way to fill up a few spare 
centimetres in the Oregonian on a slow news day. San Francisco 
sounds like a much more tolerant place, where she can make a 
fresh start without any baggage. Plus we suspect they've got more 
ice rinks than Portland. Well, maybe one day it will happen.


BREAKAWAY TRAILER

American Film Partners, formerly known as Century Film Partners, 
now have a web site on-line, including a trailer for Tonya's 1995 
action movie "Breakaway". This can be viewed at:

http://www.americanfilmpartners.com/movies/available/descript_bre
akaway.phtml

If you've not seen this film yet, here's your chance to have a 
look - the tralier includes several clips of Tonya and also most 
of the film's action.


MORE LEGAL TROUBLES FOR TONYA

The past few months have unfortunately not been completely 
trouble-free for Tonya, however. In April Tonya was charged with 
drunk driving after a mechanical failure forced her truck off the 
road one evening. As can be imagined, this is a serious charge in 
its own right, but is doubly so because Tonya is still on 
probation for the hubcap incident, one of the conditions of which 
is that she not drink any alcohol. In a hearing on the 27th of 
June, Tonya pleaded not guilty and will be fighting the charges. 
The full trial will be on 20th August. Unfortunately the judge 
scheduled to hear the case is Darvin Zimmerman, the same judge 
who sentenced Tonya to three days jail over the hubcap business. 
Given his behavior in that case, in which he made totally 
inappropriate reference to his belief that he felt Tonya had 
been let off too lightly regarding the Kerrigan incident we're 
not optimistic Tonya will get a fair hearing on this charge.


ICE FOLLIES OF 2002

The ISU met in Kyoto, Japan earlier this month to confront the 
massive crisis facing ice skating in the wake of the Salt Lake 
City Olympic scandals.

Belatedly, ISU head "Speedy" Cinquanta seems to have now finally 
woken up to the fact that there is a real make-or-break crisis in 
figure skating, and that serious action is needed to prevent what 
a few months ago was unthinkable - skating being thrown out of 
the Olympics. Merely dishing out some extra medals is not going 
to make the problem go away.

His solution has been to recommend a hasty and massive overhaul 
of the way in which skating is judged and scored: "What has 
become evident... is that it is not possible to maintain a system 
of judging created decades ago to govern a sport that is no 
longer comparable with today's standards of skating," Speedy told 
the ISU. "We cannot sacrifice the effort and dedication of 
skaters... by maintaining an outdated system of judging that does 
not reflect the merit of the on-ice performance and, 
unfortunately, in certain cases, can permit misconduct."

Several alternative systems were put forward, one from the USFSA, 
one by Australia and a third system by Speedy himself. All 
involve a complex array of mathematical calculations, maxima, 
minima, means and medians. Some involve breaking the world up 
into geographic zones reminiscent of DVD marketing. Speedy favors 
changing to a 10-point scale while as the Australian and USFSA 
proposals would keep the existing 6-point scale. Speedy proposes 
using computers to randomly select judges. After much debate, the 
ISU decided to adopt the following system:

   There will be a "mega-panel" of 283 judges. 41 judges will be 
   selected at random by a psychic using chicken entrails. The 
   high, low, mean and median scores will then be added together, 
   multiplied by the 54th root of negative pi, divided by the 
   standard deviation of the skater's shoe sizes all over e=mc 
   cubed multiplied by the arctangent of the temperature of the 
   ice (H2O < 0 degrees C).

Er, well, not really. But the actual system adopted, based upon 
the Australian proposal, probably isn't much more understandable. 
Indeed, several officials expressed the view that people were 
confused over what they were actually voting for. "Of course we 
disagree with the result," said USFSA President Phyllis Howard. 
"It was very confusing. I'm not sure whether people understood or 
not (what they were voting for)". "Everybody was confused," USFSA 
executive director John LeFevre said. "As a whole, I prefer the 
USFSA one," Cinquanta said, adding that he also likes Australia's 
idea to randomly select nine-judge panels from pools of 14. And 
were any of these plans reviewed by statisticians and 
mathematicians to see what the effect would be? 

Unfortunately, Cinquanta's plan overlooks one of the basic rules 
about computing, namely, garbage in, garbage out. The real 
problem with skating is not the scoring system, it's that too 
many senior level judges are crooked, along with the federations 
that control them. No system, no matter how complex, can be 
devised to compensate for that. As one recent poster on this 
topic to r.s.s.i.f recently pointed out, if you've got 50 socks 
in a drawer, 40 of them are dirty, and you select 10 socks at 
random then no matter what method you use to select the socks 
you'll probably still end up with alot of dirty socks.

Skating suffers from the same problem that has afflicted 
Microsoft, Enron, Worldcom, and certain elements in the Catholic 
church - a lack of a moral compass. Judges who cheat suffer from 
a lack of ethics, and the national administrations that put 
pressure on them to cheat also suffer from a lack of ethics. 
These are questions of character that can't be solved by 
twiddling with scoring systems or the use of magical computer 
programs.

What can be done? One proposal, by Scott Hamilton and others, 
involves putting judges under the control of the ISU rather than 
their national federations. This would certainly help to reduce 
the pressure on judges. Another would be to adopt a hard-line 
zero-tolerance approach to judges caught cheating, that is, if 
you're caught, you're out for life. This was in fact put up as a 
proposal by the USFSA. Unfortunately the ISU blew the perfect 
opportunity to demonstrate its resolve several weeks earlier when 
it suspended French officials Marie Reine Le Gougne and Didier 
Gailhaguet for a pathetic THREE YEARS. Given their similarly lame 
response to earlier scandals such as the Balkov incident at 
Nagano and the "toe-tapping" judges at Worlds, this is perhaps 
not surprising. Then the USFSA withdrew its proposal to impose 
lifetime bans in exchange for a promise that a committee would be 
formed to write a "code of ethics". Yeah, right, when you've got 
a problem, set up a committee. It won't solve it but it will 
hopefully bury it under a pile of paper for a few months.

These same organizations which piously lectured Tonya about 
sportsmanlike behavior have been revealed as morally bankrupt 
Emperors with no clothes. Particularly shameful is the gutless 
action of the USFSA in wimping out on its life-ban proposal. If 
a life ban is good enough for Tonya then it should certainly be 
good enough for the likes of LeGougne, Gailhaguet and their ilk, 
who have done massive damage to the very foundations of the 
sport.

Cinquanta has had quite an achievement during his time as ISU 
head. Under his watch, the Eligible side of the sport has become 
riddled with corruption on a level that would rival the Mafia, 
whilst the pro side is almost dead because people can now earn 
big bucks while staying as "amateurs". He truly is the Samaranch 
of figure skating. Perhaps a gold Olympic order is in the offing?

By the way, we see that Jesse Ventura is announcing he's not 
going to run for re-election as state governor of Minnesota. 
Could we have at last found Speedy's replacement?


MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU

Well, the Special Duties Section has been quite busy over the 
past few weeks, and we reckon we've scored quite a coup a few 
days ago. We've managed to obtain something that millions of 
people have been drooling over for months; namely a draft script 
for the upcoming Episode III of George Lucas's "Star Wars" saga. 
And it contains several surprising plot twists that we can reveal 
here for the first time:

- Jar Jar Binks goes skating on the planett of Hoth. Lucas has 
  said he's putting this in so the skating establishment will 
  have somebody else to dislike instead of Tonya (though with 
  Marie Reine LeGougne around he needn't have bothered).

- Obi-Wan Kenobi confronts Darth Stant, whho whacks him on the 
  knee with his special telescopic light-baton(TM). Just think of 
  the toy merchandising possibilities!

- The Emperor is revealed to be Ottavio Ciinquanta. He obtains a 
  recording of the Queen and Anakin Skywalker's wedding night 
  video and threatens to release it unless Anakin turns to the 
  Dark Side. 

- Three words: Eckardt The Hutt.

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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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