T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  E
  T   H   H  EEEEE

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

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

November 12, 2020 Edition - FIFTY YEARS OF TONYA
(C) 2020 Portland Ice Skating Society

Fifty years ago today, an Oregon legend came into existence. A 
few days earlier, the carcass of a dead whale had washed ashore 
near the coastal community of Florence. To dispose of it, the 
local authorities decided to go for the Michael Bay option - 
blowing it up. The result was disastrous, with onlookers being 
showered with pieces of flying blubber, one of which destroyed a 
nearby parked Cadillac. It was an event so notorious that footage 
of the explosion would become one of of the most viewed clips on 

That same day, another Oregon legend was also born: Tonya 
Harding. And like the whale, her impact was explosive and is 
still being talked half a century on. We congatulate Tonya on 
reaching this milestone!


In keeping with our long-standing tradition, we've decorated a 
cake in Tonya's honor, a picture of which we have uploaded 


Tonyaween this year has been somewhat impacted by covid, but 
there's still a few notable entries. First up, a couple from 
Tonya's home town:

sushisurprise - Portland, OR.

Kristin Sassano (kristinsassano) Portland OR.

ginatron - broke shoelace and No Comment scenes:

K dubz (klwj86) Denver CO. as LaVona

Alexandra Trefz (alliemomallie) Los Angeles CA.

Emily Pierce (eminatorrrr) When you have skates and your 
boyfriend can grow a bitchin mustache...


Marijka Jo (maryjanerc) Gilbert, AZ. Dig those fake skates!

Now here's one we've not seen before - Tonya and Shane Stant as 
dogs! Jane Allman (jane_5jo1):

  "Echo’s GDB name is Tanya, so it was only fitting that she 
   represents the most infamous version of herself this 
   Halloween. Swipe for bloopers.

   Photo description: Echo (yellow lab puppy) dressed as a figure 
   skater in a flowy skirt, and Hackett (black lab) dressed as 
   the assailant in a leather jacket holding a black baton- the 
   weapon of choice- in his mouth. 2nd photo is a blooper of 
   hackett spitting out the baton. 3rd photo is Echo laying down 
   with her head down next to a sign that says “no tricks, only 
   treats” which is the most Labrador thing ever.

A few rare cases of Nancys without matching Tonyas:

Annette Mullaney (ho_grammer) "Nancy Kerrigan! The knee brace is 
part of the costume but the crutches are for real. Paired it with 
my mom’s 1992 Team USA triathlon jacket, which is also just a 
sick jacket. Got a lot of Keri Strung which, close enough, and a 
lot of Tonya Harding but excuse me I’m the VICTIM."

Natalia Bouyea (nbooya6):

Anna & Talia (skateyouriceoff):

Hazel Farrell (hazeface), Ireland. Not sure if this chick is 
supposed to be Tonya or Nancy:

A few we found from previous years:

2019: Taylor Wolfe (thedailytay) "Ghosts of Harloween past. “I 
made you a champion knowing you’d hate me for it, that’s the 
sacrifice a mother makes!” -LaVona Golden. I won’t deny last year 
was a personal fave. So much so I couldn’t let LaVona go, 

2018: aerialhr13

2014 Therese Tomassino (thessadilla)

If you're too lazy to make a costume, you can order this one from 

General Tonya-themed cosplay

Jaybee (easybreezycostumes) "Tonya Harding costume inspired by 
the characterization in the movie “I, Tonya”":

Tyler M. Holland, Brooklyn NY. (tylermhollanddesign)

Carly Ryan (carlucci1019)- More "I, Tonya" antics from Carly - 
sound's not that great:

Roxy Hellwege (madroxxi) Melbourne, Australia. "I really loved 
I, Tonya, and honestly Tonya is an icon so it’s about time I 
cosplayed her":

Madison (madizoneskates) "I threw together a last minute 
@therealtonyaharding costume today and had a blast pretending I 
can figure skate":

Pan Narrans Artistry (helsinki712):

Finally, this has got to be one of the worst attempts at a Tonya 
impersonator we've come across, looking nothing like the real - 
oh, wait, that IS the real Tonya!


We think that one day Tonya should dress up as Harley Quinn for 
Halloween. I mean, Margot dressed up as Tonya, so Tonya dressing 
up as Harley is the closest she can get to dressing up as Margot.


In the past few months we've come across several interviews with 
famous TV personalities with connections to Tonya:

Dick Button has always recognized the dishonesty in the way that 
Tonya has been treated by the skating establishment. In this 
speech at a press conference announcing the launch of the ill-
fated World Skating Federation in March 2003, he rails against 
the hypocrisy of Tonya being banned for life while cheating 
judges are given slap-on-the-wrist penalties and allowed to 
resume judging a few years later:

Dick has gone on the record in the past saying he would consider 
having Tonya in one of his ice shows. However, we gather the 
blowback from other skaters was too great which is why it never 

   Dick Button, who runs two of the pro competitions as well as 
   serving as an ice skating commentator for ABC, said yesterday: 
   "We have a group of people who select the skaters for our 
   {pro} competitions, and I'm sure Tonya Harding, like every 
   other professional skater who was available, would be 
   considered. To be honest, I'd really prefer everyone put this 
   all behind us. To me, the whole situation was a tragedy for 
   everyone involved. It was unfortunate that the skating was not 
   the focal point at the Olympics. But maybe the silver lining 
   will turn out to be a lot more people were exposed to figure 
   skating and will become fans of the sport."

   Representatives of Dick Button's company, Candid Productions, 
   have made contact with Harding's representatives to discuss 
   the possibility of her skating in the World Professional 
   Championships in December.

   Any promoter who wanted to use Harding would have to consider 
   possible resistance from other athletes toward competing 
   against her or even being in the same event.

   "I am totally non-committal," Button said Tuesday. "I do 
   believe that someone who has done their sentence should get a 
   second chance at life."

Also worth a look is this press conference Q & A that was held at 
the WSF's launch on 25 March 2003:

As for Dick's example about the bank teller convicted of robbery, 
he's right: they wouldn't give him his old job back. These days, 
they'd probably make him the bank's CEO instead.

Ann Schatz has been one of Portland's leading broadcasters for 
many years, and was also the first to get a sit-down interview 
with Tonya when rumors began to circulate of a possible 
connection to the events in Detroit. In this edition of NBC 
Sports Northwest's podcast "The Bridge", she talks about her 
career, including how she managed to grab another brief interview 
with Tonya in Norway a few weeks later by pure luck - and because 
she built up Tonya's trust:  (the Tonya stuff is from 16:30 to 25:01)

Here's an interview that Ann gave to KGW about "I, Tonya" in 
November 2017:

Finally, Al Michaels is a man with more reasons than most to 
remember Tonya's birthday. For a start, he was the announcer who 
called Tonya's triple axel performance at the U.S. Nationals in 
1991 - though he didn't actually realize it until he watched "I, 

   "I was watching ‘I, Tonya’ the other night. I’d forgotten I’d 
    announced the triple axel at the Target Center in 1991," 
    Michaels said. "I’m going, ‘Wait a second. I did that!’ Then 
    I went on YouTube and YouTube has the actual call. It brought 
    back the memory of doing it with Peggy Fleming and Dick 

Despite this, Michaels didn't know a great deal about Tonya until 
he watched the movie:

   "We didn’t know the Tonya story, but we knew that she was a 
    girl who had a mother who raised her, the father wasn’t 
    there, she had no money, they were living wherever they were 
    living in Portland. We knew that almost all the other figure 
    skaters had funding, they had good training facilities and 
    all the rest," he said.

   "We knew that she was an outlier, not nearly to the extent of 
    that story. Whether it’s embellished or not, I don’t know, 
    but we had no idea her true background and the way her mother 
    treated her," Michaels said. "If most of it is true, and I 
    assume most of it is true, it’s amazing she was able to do 
    what she did. Amazing."

And the second reason? It's also his own! So let's give a shout-
out to Al, who turns 76 today.


We've also come across this Tonya-themed presentation done back 
in 2016 as part of the Talks at Google series (a kind of TedTalks 
rip-off), by Matt Harkins & Viviana Olen, the creators of the 
THNK1994 Museum in New York. Matt & Viviana spoke about how the 
museum came about (which at that stage, was just their apartment 
hallway decorated with assorted Tonya/Nancy photos and 

Okay, so it would be false modesty to omit that we get a mention 
at 17:55.


Tonya and Sabbath - the perfect combination:

Hard to believe that this song is now fifty years old. Pity that 
Tonya never skated to this in real life.


Many decades before two skaters faced off against each other in 
Norway in 1994, the names Harding and Kerrigan crossed paths in a 
rather different manner in a township in New York state. 

This is Harding Road, in the town of Copiague, at the southern 
tip of Long Island. No, it’s not named after Tonya - it goes back 
to the 1920s and was probably named after Warren Harding, who was 
President around that time, though nobody’s absolutely sure.

Today, Harding Road is the epitome of middle-class American 
suburbia - with its well-manicured lawns and that old Mustang II 
parked in the foreground, this picture could easily pass for 
something off the cover of a Carpenters LP from around 1974:,-73.3965984,3a,75y,225.71h,84.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sAbmtxhm2HHIpM1_Yq8NWDA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

But there is something special about this particular Harding Road 
that makes it different from all the dozens of other streets with 
that name across the United States. And to see why, we only need 
to move a couple of hundred meters due South:,-73.3966352,3a,32.7y,252.92h,83.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sXYqSuYIaWvsEQUVuewKE3g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Yes, it intersects with a Kerrigan Road! Though unlike Harding 
Road, nobody remembers who Kerrigan Road was named after.

This article gives more details on the history of the area, 
revealing that the signs have been stolen on several occasions, 
and that in '94 one guy hung his daughter's skates on them:

Thanks to Mike Amo for finding this. We wonder how many people 
will assume they were named after Tonya & Nancy fifty years from 


We think that you can draw parallels between Tonya and both the 
Mustang II and the Carpenters - both were quite popular in their 
day but never fashionable, and are now getting overdue re-

Carpenters albums sold like hot cakes in the '70s but nobody with 
any pretensions of coolness would ever admit to liking them - 
they were considered too mellow, mainstream and white-bread to be 
hip. The Mustang II was actually also a best seller, due to 
hitting the market at the same time as the first oil crisis at 
the end of 1973, even though Mustang fans hated it as they saw it 
as a watered-down, gutless imitation of the real thing. By the 
'80s, both had been consigned to the cultural dumpster along with 
other '70s fads like bell-bottom pants and avocado appliances, 
relics of what was by then labeled as the decade that taste 
forgot. Similarly, Tonya was beloved by her fans but sneered at 
by the arbiters of taste in the skating establishment because of 
her home-made costumes.

But in the '90s, a funny thing actually happened - a new 
generation discovered the music of the Carpenters, one 
unencumbered by the baggage of the past, many of whom were not 
even born when the Carpenters emerged onto the scene in 1970. And 
they discovered that it was actually, well, quite good. "If I 
Were A Carpenter" - a 1994 tribute album of Carpenters covers by 
indie bands - was their "I, Tonya" moment. Even the Mustang II is 
now getting some overdue love, with car enthusiasts now 
acknowledging that despite its limitations, it was a car that 
came along at the right time in the right place, just when 
Americans needed an economical vehicle.


Our last issue succeeded in largely cleaning up our huge backlog 
of Tonya-related fan art, but there's more coming in all the time 
as Tonya continues to be a muse for aspiring Rembrants and 

TacoExplosions (tacoexplosionsfactory) Crying Tonya on a plate. 
  "Sometimes I think to myself “I wonder if there are people for 
   whom 2020 is like the best year ever and they’re just loving 
   it”. A strong candidate for someone who has to be having a 
   better 2020 than some other years right?"

Studio_Cuties (studio_cuties) triple axel:

Camille Deschamps (cam_dsign). Poster for a non-existent Netflix 
show about Tonya Harding's life:

The mirror scene from "I, Tonya" continues to resonate with 

Johanna (
This one is painted on what appears to be an old vinyl record:
   “In the end there is a women, smiling while a teardrop is 
   dripping down her face, with the dark magenta color and dark 
   turquoise – showing the contrast between the ’’healthy, 
   happy’’ view we show to others and the fact that we are 
   already broken, with ourself, alone.”


Nima Nobahari (nimanobahari) animated mirror scene:

Lucia Menendez (luci_dream_field) Mirror scene gouache portrait:

Ace Troy (acetroy) Portland OR.

  "13” tall, spraypaint on wood, $50. DM or email for sales 

  "Two paintings mounted to each other as one! Double the fun, 
  Double the Tonya."  
  "I Am The Lorax, I Speak For the Tonyas". Big ol paste up I 
  made today, just messing around freehand with some DIY caps I 
  made and experimented with for the first time. Got some nice 
  tight lines but things didn’t go exactly as plan so as per 
  usual it devolved into me just painting."

M. Vandenoever (vandenoever501) "Tonya takes control" (even if 
she looks more like Kwan in this cartoon):

Pan Narrans Artistry (helsinki712) "sharp edges"-inspired sketch:

mayudama.dolls - Japanese "I Tonya" doll:

Ash (aishlingdraws) "My entry for the @artholecardiff “Gnarly” 

Several people used Tonya as an inspiration for Inktober:

Julika Suzanna M. (michelgiulica) "Just rewatched I, Tonya 
again, just can't get enough of this Movie. Or this 

Rachel Cunningham (waffingtons) "It’s #inktober2020 #day5 - 
#blade ... following on from yesterday, I thought I should 
go for another incredible character":

Sara Art (saaraaartt) - liked by Tonya herself:

WvH (wvh1982):

_anastasiya_fokina_ - Russia:

Caoimhe Mc Eneaney (caoimhemceneaney)- triple axel:

Kittie (kittiewai) A crossover between Tonya and Donna Freedman, 
Margot's character on the Australian soap "Neighbours":

Ananya ( skate drawing:
  Prompt - shoes
  Medium - Steadler fineliners and Alcohol Markers

It's easy to imagine that you could do an entire Inktober 
challenge solely on Tonya.


Tonya has been immortalized in "I, Tonya". The exploding whale 
was immortalized in a rather different fashion - with a park 
named in its memory:

We hope that we can look forward to another half century of Tonya 
that's just as fascinating as the first. And by the way, if "I, 
Tonya" had been directed by Michael Bay:

- it would be called "The Rink" or "Bad Skaters";

- it would feature a sub-plot involving a crack team of special 
forces agents taking down a gang of Cuban drug dealers who are 
using the skater's skate bags to smuggle cocaine;

- it would finish with Tonya walking towards the camera in slow 
motion while the Lillehammer Skating Hall explodes in a massive 
fireball in the background. 


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