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

April 18, 2020 Edition - 
(C) 2020 Portland Ice Skating Society

Welcome to another edition of The Portlandian. We hope everybody 
had a great Easter, even if the bunny didn't manage to always get 
through with his eggs this year. Oh, to return to 2019, when 
viruses were things that affected computers.

Like most of us at the moment, Tonya isn't doing much (unless 
she's got something in the can she hasn't mentioned). But just 
because you can't go out doesn't mean that there isn't plenty for 
the quarantined Tonyaphile to see, hear, read and do. For 
instance, you can:

- watch "I, Tonya" again;

- watch all of Tonya's skating videos on YouTube;

- watch "The Price of Gold" again;

- watch "I, Tonya" again;

- watch Tonya on "Dancing with the Stars";

- read Sarah Marshall's "Remote Control" article again, and 
listen to her podcast on Tonya;

- watch "I, Tonya" again;

- read "Fire On Ice" and "Thin Ice", two quicky books from 1994 
about Tonya that have been reissued as e-books a couple of years 

- watch the "Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story", the 1994 TV movie;

- watch "I, Tonya" again;

- watch "Breakaway", Tonya's 1996 action flick;

- watch Tonya win "Worst Cooks" again;

- watch "I, Tonya" again;

And if that lot isn't enough to keep you going, we've got a pile 
of things we've found online to keep you busy, including some new 
photos, old news items, some of Tonya's skating music, an 
analysis of her boxing career, a rare appearance at a wrestling 
match, and the usual roundup of Tonya fan art. Because who needs 
to binge on Netflix when you've got T-Flix instead?


Readers will recall that bit over a year ago, Tonya spoke at a 
fundraising event for the Domestic Violence Clinic at the 
University of Oregon in Eugene. Some pictures of the event were 
posted on Tonya's Instagram account.

Now someone who attended has sent us some more pictures of Tonya 
at that event which have not been seen before:

Tonya speaking:

Tonya in a selfie with some of the organizers:

Tonya with an autographed skate:

Our benefactor says:

   "I thought you might enjoy the attached photos, some of which 
    are of Tonya, which are from the presentation she gave last 
    year at the Domestic Violence Clinic at the University of 
    Oregon. I attended Tonya's presentation. It was a bit of a 
    drive as I live in Washington state, the same state where 
    Tonya now lives. I made the drive, though, both because I'm a 
    fan of Tonya's and because domestic violence is an important 
    issue that affects many families, including my own."

We would like to thank him for his generosity in sharing these 
with us.


More and more Tonya-related news footage has emerged from the 
archives in recent years. Here's some of it:

- this site has a few short but rare news clips from Portland 
stations like KGW and KATU relating to Tonya, including the 
triple axel. Because as Tonyaphiles, we're honorary Portlanders 

- a 70 minute compilation of news reports about you-know-what 
from Detroit station WJBK - this reporting won them an award:

- part of Shawn Eckardt's interview with Diane Sawyer that was 
recreated in "I, Tonya". Yes, he really was as out there as 
portrayed in the movie:

- Tonya reinstated? Fake news unfortunately, done as a school 


One of the memorable features of a lot of Tonya's programs was 
her unique choice of music, often going for rock and pop at the 
time when classical was the favored genre for skating.

LAV audio productions have re-created the music edits from a 
number of famous skating programs, including three of Tonya's: (93/94 SP - Much Ado 
About Nothing) (93/94 LP - Jurassic 
Park) (91/92 SP - People 
Are Still Having Sex - complete with the original clunky edits)

Somebody's also done the same for Tonya's 1990/91 LP music 
(Batman) - albeit in mono:

and also Tonya's 1991/92 LP - Robin Hood

Meanwhile, back in August 2014 at the Skate Houston Invitational, 
12 year old Catherine Gooch decided to have a go at re-using 
"Jurassic Park":

Finally, it was probably inevitable that someone would do this: 
they've synced up Tonya's 1991 Nationals triple axel performance 
to "The Passenger" by Siouxsie and the Banshees in a replication 
of the end credits of the movie. What's interesting is that it 
actually works quite well. Pity it's also not in stereo:

We're still waiting for somebody to skate again to "People Are 
Still Having Sex", particularly now that vocals are allowed in 


One aspect of Tonya's life that is often overlooked is her short-
lived boxing career of the mid-2000s, which, if it's remembered 
at all, is generally not viewed very favorably. If you've ever 
tried to find any footage of it on YouTube, you'll know that 
there isn't much out there, and it's often only short clips, but 
here is what we've managed to dig up.

First up is the thing that started it all - Tonya fighting Paula 
Jones on "Fox Celebrity Boxing" in 2002, albeit with Round Two 

Next is Tonya's pro boxing debut, against Samantha Browning at 
the Memphis Pyramid in February 2003 (ignore the sound, it's from 
something else):

Then we've got a very short clip of Tonya vs Amy Johnson on June 
25, 2004 in Edmonton, Canada. Team Tonya protested the result, 
saying that the fight should have been stopped by the referee in 
the second round after Johnson was knocked down, and also 
complained of other unfair tactics:

Interestingly, (WBAN) sided with Tonya, agreeing 
that the bout should have been stopped and given to her, saying:

   Beside the fact that the fight "obvious" to most should have 
   ended in a second round TKO for Harding the winner, it was 
   truly bewildering that the referee of the Harding-Johnson 
   fight, did not honor the fact that Johnson waved her hands to 
   quit (similarly to how refs wave their hands when they stop a 
   fight), and taking her own mouth piece out of her mouth 
   wanting "no mas".  To add insult to injury, it appears that 
   the ref did not seem to pay attention to the fact that Johnson 
   was smearing and (lacing) her gloves in Hardingís face.

WBAN later awarded Johnson its "Dirty Fighter" award for that 
year, saying "This cannot go to none other than Edmonton's Amy 
Johnson. WBAN was in disbelief when we viewed the fight tape 
and watched Johnson fighting Tonya Harding with dirty tactics 
as trying to lace/scrap with her gloves on Harding's face."

In the wake of the release of "I, Tonya", it seems that celebrity 
boxing promoter Damon Feldman decided he could milk more money 
out of her. He sold this footage to TMZ of a knockout punch by 
Tonya in a bout with pro-wrestler turned boxer Brittney Drake in 
January 2005. Not surprisingly, Tonya won this one:

In a more light-hearted vein is this match against Doug Stanhope 
on Comedy Central's "The Man Show" in May 2004: (training) (weigh-in) (fight)

Our report on the match at the time can be found at - back then we wrote:

   Early in May Comedy Central aired the episode of "The Man 
   Show" that Tonya recorded back in March. In order to promote 
   the show, Tonya embarked on an ambitious media blitz that saw 
   her doing dozens of radio interviews over two days in late 
   April involving stations from across the entire country. In 
   addition, a clip from the match was broadcast on the "Tonite 
   Show With Jay Leno" on NBC in early May during an interview 
   with one of the show's hosts.

   Tonya fights three rounds with the show's host, Doug Stanhope. 
   In radio interviews Tonya gave the impression that lots of fun 
   was had by all.

Arguably, the chief problem with Tonya's boxing career was simply 
that she started too late - at age 32, it was difficult to find 
opponents of both similar age and experience, which meant she was 
usually fighting women who were either much younger or much more 
experienced than her. Nevertheless, excluding gimmick matches 
like the Drake and Paula Jones fights, Tonya's boxing record 
stands at 4 wins and 3 losses (one of which should arguably have 
also been a win). Which, we would submit, is not too shabby, and 
far from the complete disaster that many often remember it as:

Perhaps if she had started boxing eight years earlier, 
immediately after she was banned from figure skating she would 
have made a better fist of it, if you'll pardon the pun, and had 
a successful career in this area.


Boxing wasn't the first time that Tonya exchanged the rink for 
the ring, however. Back in June 1994 she acted as celebrity 
"manager" for a local Portland wrestling team, "Los Gringos 
Locos", which consisted of Eddie Guerrero & Art Barr, also known 
as "The American Love Machine". We've come across some ultra-rare 
footage of this one-off appearance that's never been widely seen 

The press conference, including some midget wrestlers. 
Unfortunately the sound isn't too hot:

Tonya with Eddie Guerrero and The Love Machine as they enter the 

The actual wrestling match, at the Clark County fairgrounds near 
Vancouver, WA. on June 22nd 1994. Guerrero & Barr teamed with 
"Bruiser Brian" for a six-man tag team match against Blue 
Panther, Konnan, and Perro Aguayo. We've linked to the point 
where Tonya comes into view. She can be seen sitting on a chair 
on the catwalk that leads to the ring several other times 
throughout the match:

Los Gringos Locos were regarded as "heels" (bad guys), so they 
were clearly trying to trade on Tonya's notoriety with her 
presence, for which she was reportedly paid five grand. Tonya 
frankly looks completely bewildered by it all, to be honest. 
Several days later she would be banned for life from skating.

More info on Barr, who died shortly afterwards, ironically from 
the effects of being hit from behind by a fan with a folding 
metal chair:


Once again the system screws up - Richard Callaghan has had his 
lifetime ban for abusing young skaters reduced down to a three-
year suspension:

For those out there who aren't familiar with this story, 
Callaghan was a prominent skating coach in the last decades of 
the 20th century. Two of his most famous pupils were Tara 
Lipinski & Todd Eldredge.

In 1999, one of his former pupils, Craig Maurizi, filed a 
grievance with the USFSA claiming that Callaghan had sexually 
abused him back in the 70s and 80s. The USFSA tossed the 
grievance claim out on a technicality without looking at it 
because it wasn't filed within a 60-day deadline. Arguably this 
was incorrect as the grievance was filed under a different rule 
that didn't specify a time limit. Here's our reports of it from 
that time:

Fast-forward to 2017: in the wake of the Nassar scandal in 
gymnastics, the U.S. government creates the Center for Safe 
Sport, a body that has the jurisdiction to investigate these 
types of complaints. Unlike the USFSA, SafeSport has no statute 
of limitations and can go back as far as it likes, so in 2018 
Maurizi refiles his original complaint against Callaghan with 

After an in-depth investigation, SafeSport determines that 
Callaghan abused a number of skaters physically and sexually, 
including Maurizi. Callaghan is then given a lifetime ban from 
the sport. 

However, Callaghan appeals and an arbitrator is brought in, who 
reduces the penalty to a 3-year suspension, with 15 years 
probation and 100 hours of community service, citing a now-
repealed New York law which required "corroboration" for certain 
sex offenses - a law which the arbritrator himself describes as 
"absurd and draconian". This makes Callaghan able to return to 
coaching as soon as 2022.

Mauriziís attorney has slammed the decision, telling ABC News and 
ESPN that it contains "glaring errors" and displays a 
"fundamental misunderstanding of the law and a willful blindness 
as to the nature of Richard Callaghanís years-long predation 
against my client."

This is not the first time that SafeSport has proven itself an 
impotent and useless joke. Back in January last year, two-time 
U.S. Pairs champion John Coughlin committed suicide after he 
received an interim suspension from SafeSport. Christine Brennan 
of "USA Today" reported that he was facing three accusations of 
sexual abuse, two of them involving minors. However with the 
death of Coughlin, SafeSport decided there was nothing left to 
investigate and closed its file on the case, despite a host of 
unanswered questions about how Coughlin was able to get away with 
his predatory behavior for so long.

Fortunately Callaghan is not out of the woods yet - he also faces 
another SafeSport investigation and a civil lawsuit filed by Adam 
Schmidt, another former pupil, who claims he was also abused. 
Worth noting is that Schmidt's abuse allegedly occurred AFTER the 
USFSA's dismissal of the Maurizi complaint. The lawsuit also 
names the USFSA and Onyx Ice Arena in Detroit, where Callaghan 
taught Schmidt, as defendants. The USFSA can also ban Callaghan 
independently irrespective of the SafeSport decision, but in 
their typical style has dodged the issue, saying "The U.S. Center 
for SafeSport has exclusive jurisdiction in these matters," and 
"U.S. Figure Skating is required to and will enforce all 
decisions of the Center."

Hopefully he'll just get blackballed unofficially like Tonya did 
and won't be able to get any work. Allowing Callaghan to coach 
your kid is like hiring Roman Polanski to babysit your 13-year 
old daughter.


And now it's time for our regular feature of Tonya-related 
artwork. First up is a pair of rare Incident-themed works, rare 
in that they are some of the few we've come across that feature 
Nancy without Tonya.

Molly Steadman recreates the iconic Newsweek cover:


yoyo.destiny - "Why Me" t-shirt. She says:

   "When I was 11, I typed a letter to Nancy Kerrigan on a word 
   proccessor. It was a page and a half long and the whole gist 
   was basically how 'when you get better - we gon' run up on 
   Tonya Harding and beat'er ass.'
   Proving, I've always been a writer with a wild imagination and 
   an insatiable appetite for pop culture."


Annette Rasmussen - poem and triple axel drawing:


acollett748 - an alternative "I, Tonya" poster, perhaps?


Louisa Esposito has done a rotoscoped animation of the TV footage 
of Tonya's 1991 Nationals Long Program - though, unfortunately, 
not the triple axel itself:


miss.crepuscular - a couple of skating drawings, one of Tonya's 
Jurassic Park program at Lillehammer, the other of her skate at a 
Reno hockey match in 1997:


its.tenshi - a pencil sketch of Margot as Tonya:


_miiyaw_ - another pencil sketch of Tonya:


marlio.n - a beautiful color portrait of Tonya skating:


angelstururu - the diner scene:


_tractmarks - terrible Tonya (the courtroom scene):


acuriousquirrel (Tessa Sheehan) - smoking Tonya sketch:


sydscribbels (pretty face and portland based) - a triple axel 
sketch of the hometown heroine:


princealvy_1 (Alvaro Ramirez) - a skate-shaped Christmas 
decoration, from the look of it:


jeanned108 - an alternative movie poster:


scorpinelle - Sebastian Stan as Jeff:


mike_tofanelli - Tonya as a leather-jacketed 50's "greaser":


cute_fun_trash (Beautiful Basura) Oakland, CA. Broken shoelace 


Rachel O'Donnell of Los Angeles has done a couple of Tonya 

- (broke shoelace)

  Broken Laces - the last piece of my @therealtonyaharding mini 
  series. Measuring 8Ē x 10Ē, this acrylic on canvas piece 
  depicts the broken laces incident during the 1994 Olympics [see 
  third slide for the video].?? When I first started this series, 
  I was bracing for backlash but whatís amazing is how the 
  majority of people now connect + sympathize with Tonyaís 
  struggles with the deep-seated classism and misogyny of the 
  80ís + 90ís. Iím also drawn to this huge episode of American 
  culture as itís truly camp. Itís rhinestones, sequins and 
  tears; a truly human drama wrapped up in layers of cultural 
  absurdity. I love to explore icons with my work + Tonya Harding 
  is truly an American icon of mythic proportions (Olympic practice)

  NEW little painting [12Ē x 8Ē] of Tonya Harding. For those who 
  donít know, sheís the 1st American woman to successfully land 
  a triple Axel in competition (swipe to see this amazing moment 
  from 1991). I love to paint complicated figures + thereís a lot 
  to say about her but Iíll let the work speak for itself - image 
  inspired by photos taken of her during a practice skate at the 

A couple of artworks inspired by the mirror scene from the movie:

uncleemily (emily mata art)


Katrina Macias - melodramatic_melon 


  Game face. Ever since I saw I, Tonya the other day Iíve been 
  obsessed! (Now if this portrait is ugly to you and a little 
  unnerving, good thatís the point) I love this scene because you 
  see Harding getting ready to skate for a crowd of people who 
  basically hate her and you feel for her. Now this isnít my best 
  piece but I experimented and Iím proud of it! Again I loved 
  this movie, Margot Robbie was stunning as the incredibly 
  talented Tonya Harding! Expect my next few pieces to be nothing 
  but fan art for this movie and for this incredible skater! My 
  next piece will be of the actual Tonya Harding in what I like 
  to call can you see me now pose! @therealtonyaharding

This next one's a bit R-rated - Big Al's Little Ladies of Chicago 
has some drawings of a nude Tonya & Nancy skating as part of a 
series of what appear to possibly be temporary tattoos:


And to finish off, Silja Jocher of Basel, Switzerland has done a 
very weird Tonya painting:



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