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

January 8, 2019 Edition - SPECIAL 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
(C) 2019 Portland Ice Skating Society

Welcome to the first edition of "The Portlandian" for the New 
Year. Today, we remember the 25th anniversary of an important 
event in Tonya history. We also check out some photos on 
Instagram that Tonya has posted, hear descriptions of some 
encounters with Tonya from her fans (including one famous one), 
finish up our Tonyaween coverage, and visit an alternative 

Most importantly, we will present a link to a site that provides 
some important information about the events of 25 years ago, 
information that we think clears Tonya of any involvement in a 
certain imfamous event.


Today we celebrate an auspicious occasion - it marks the silver 
anniversary of Tonya's 1994 National's win. And this time she 
didn't need to pull out the triple Axel either to top the podium. 
Skating to a Short Program of music from the film "Much Ado About 
Nothing" and a Long Program of the theme from "Jurrasic Park", 
Tonya won her second National Championship, confounding the 
expectations of the skating establishment, who viewed her as a 
washed up has-been on the way out.

Of course, it was also the 25th anniversary a couple of days 
earlier of another "incident" which would come to overshadow 
Tonya's second National's title, and naturally the media has 
chosen to revisit that, particularly given that this month will 
also see the Nationals return to Detroit for the first time since 
1994. Although it will no longer be at the Joe Louis Arena, which 
is scheduled for demolition, it will take place at Little 
Caesar's Arena, about a mile away from Joe Louis.

Anyway, you can read their regurgitations below. Phil Hersh does 
the obligatory rehash, though he does have an interesting quote 
by Brian Boitano, who says:

   "In retrospect, it was good for most of us. It catapulted 
    skating to another level of interest, one that it will never 
    get back to. I was able to work at a high level for many more 
    years to come."

Mercifully Christine Brennan has not put in an appearance, 
limiting herself to tweeting a link to her 20th anniversary 
article from 2014. Or you can read our own version which we did 
at the same time instead:

It seems hard to avoid the conclusion that the USFSA were not 
ignorant of the significance of choosing this location on this 
anniversary, no matter how strenuously they will likely deny it. 
With public interest in figure skating in the doldrums, they no 
doubt took the "any publicity is good publicity" philosophy - 
while at the same time continuing to deny Tonya her place in 
figure skating history.


It is with this in mind that we are pleased to present the 
following very lengthy essay by Tom Mahon of the case against 
Tonya. And he shows conclusively that it doesn't stack up. It's 
one of the most thoroughly-researched, in-depth analyses of the 
evidence we've seen - it totally demolishes the case against her. 
It does what Tonya's legal team would have done had the case gone 
to trial.

In particular, Mahon shows that Tonya could not have possibly 
made the phone calls to the Tony Kent Arena in Cape Cod - and 
therefore could not possibly have written Nancy's training times 
on the so-called "Tunee Can" note - the supposedly critical piece 
of "evidence" that is often cited as "proof" of Tonya's 

Why? Because Tonya had no idea how the phone number of Tony Kent 
was obtained. She told investigators that she obtained it from 
the USFSA when in fact it was actually obtained from directory 
assistance. Tonya would have no incentive to deliberately lie 
about how she obtained the number - and every reason not to to 
make her story credible. The only conclusion is that Gillooly 
made those calls and then pressured Tonya to take the heat, as he 
knew he would struggle to come up with a legitimate-sounding 
reason for having made them himself. Unfortunately he failed to 
brief Tonya on critical details, like how he got the number, so 
she was forced to guess, and got it wrong.

Evidence by Tony Kent employees also contradict the idea Tonya 
was involved. Bear in mind that since Nancy was the current 
national champion calls about her training schedule were common 
from fans. Such a call was received by rink employee Tim Daley on 
the date of the 28th of December from a woman who wanted to know 
Nancy's practice times so that she could get a poster signed. The 
problem is that Daley said the call came in around 19:00, way 
later than the time of 17:19 that the calls from the Harding/
Gillooly house were made according to the phone records. 
According to Gillooly, Tonya, having obtained the practice times 
and hung up the phone, then said "the stupid bitch gave it to 
me!" - implying that she had spoken to a woman.

Accordingly, Tonya cannot possibly be the person Daley spoke to, 
unless you accept that Daley made a huge error in recalling the 
time and that at least part of Jeff's description of the call is 
a lie, fabricated to make Tonya look bad. Nobody has ever found 
out who took the earlier call from PDX and the gender of the 
caller - we have only Gillooly's word that it was Tonya.

Tony Kent employee Deborah Kennedy recalled two calls sometime in 
the last week of December about Nancy's training schedule within 
minutes from, she believes, the same person - but they were from 
a man. (Mark Starr, "Another Skate Drops", Newsweek, 1/31/94). 
Could these be the calls that actually came from Portland?

On Jan. 3, another call is made from the Harding/Gillooly house 
to Tony Kent, also at 14:19 Portland time or 17:19 Boston time. 
Rink employee Yvonne Lackenby says she remembers a call coming in 
that day around quarter past five from a male caller inquiring 
about Nancy's practice times. Given the closeness of the times 
she must certainly be referring to the call from Portland and 
this again points to Gillooly, not Tonya, being the caller.

The house of cards that constitutes the "case" against Tonya 
collapses. Twenty-five years on, it's time to cut the crap, and 
let her skate again.


Tonya has been busy on Instagram over the past few weeks.

Tonya has posted a couple of festive photos for her fans on 
Instagram recently, featuring herself in suitable attire getting 
into the Christmas spirit:

And no, I don't know why she's got a bird on a piece of paper 
stuck to her Christmas tree. But hey, she's from Portland, and 
they put birds on things!


Tonya has also posted a couple of pictures from her time at the 
Chicago Sports Spectacular recently on her Instagram feed.

1) Tonya with former NFL running back Emmitt Smith:

2) Tonya with cast members of The Sopranos:

Insert the obligatory joke about somebody getting "whacked" 


Several fans have also posted pictures of their encounter with 
Tonya at the Alamo Drafthouse in South Lamar back in August. And 
it's the same story that we've seen and heard many times before - 
that people who meet Tonya in the flesh are pleased to discover 
how pleasant and personable she is.

Multimedia producer Alyssa Vidales posted a few photos and a 
description of Tonya's Q&A session:

   August 17 2018 - 01:29

   Watched I, TONYA for the first time with an audience. And the 
   @therealtonyaharding. Some Q&A takeaways:

    Tonya said the song shed skate to today would be "Only God 
   Knows Why" by Kid Rock, "...because Hes the only one whos in 
   my head." 

    Did she ever say *that* to a judge? "I never told anyone to 
   suck my d**k [like Margo Robbie does in I, TONYA], but I will 
   someday. Im just saving it." 

    Tonya said she still has the fur coat she got to appear 
   "posh" at skating competitions as seen in the movie, but no, 
   it was store bought & not made from rabbits. She also said her 
   godmother, who was in the @drafthouse audience, still has the 
   mink coat her dad sold his car to buy her.

Natasha posted a picture of herself with Tonya:

Austin-based artist and scientist Grace Musser had this to say:

   August 19 2018
   So happy that I got to watch the @itonyamovie again this week 
   and meet @therealtonyaharding @drafthouseaustin. Ever since I 
   first saw the movie and learned about her story, she has 
   become one of my heroes and someone I look up to who inspires 
   me every day. I similarly came from a humble background, and 
   being a woman there is a whole set of additional hardships for 
   me to face, especially in paleontology/biology. Tonya is 
   especially inspiring to me as she has gone through so much and 
   still accomplished what most people thought was impossible 
   while remaining such a genuine, positive and wise human being 
   despite the attacks and bs of so many. Thank you again 
   @therealtonyaharding for sharing your story and helping me 
   stay motivated to do my best as a scientist and visual artist 
   while prioritizing the people that I love in my life.

Great to see that yet more Tonyaphiles are being recruited every 

And in case you are wondering, yes, that carpet is the same as 
the one in "The Shining".


Meanwhile, Olivia over at the WeTonya Facebook group has come up 
with a video in which Margot Robbie tells of an encounter with 
another Tonya fan.

We all know that Tonya is a wonder woman. But when the actress 
who plays Wonder Woman on screen, Gal Gadot, met Tonya she 
initially thought that Tonya was Margot's mother! And freaked out 
with excitement when she discovered who she really was!

It's an understandable mistake - Tonya is so good-looking for her 
age it's not surprising that people would think she's related to 
Margot, one of the world's most glamorous women.


Last year's Halloween produced a plethora of "I, Tonya"-inspired 
costumes, ranging from the good: (is that "Jeff" 
   creepily like the real one or what?)

to the bad:

and the definitely ugly:

to the just plain bizarre:

In our birthday issue back in November we posted some links to 
these that we found on Instagram. Since then, we've come across 
truckloads more, way too many to list here, so we've just dumped 
all the links to these honorable mentions up onto a page on our 
site that well just call "lookalikes" for now:


Finally, since we've now had the 25th anniversary of you-know-
what, let's indulge in a little speculative history. Tonya's had 
plenty of "alternative facts" written about her over the years, 
but here's some of a different kind. What if Tonya was the one 
who had been clubbed? This alternate universe story postulates 
what might have happened:

And let's face it, given the USFSA's attitude toward Tonya, it 
doesn't seem that far-fetched.


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