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

February 3, 1998 Edition - SPECIAL FOX INTERVIEW ISSUE
(C) 1998 Portland Ice Skating Society


Well, obviously the big news this week is the interview featuring 
Tonya and her main rival that has been recorded and which will be 
screened on the US Fox TV network on February 5th. Entitled 
'BREAKING THE ICE: THE WOMEN OF '94 REVISITED' it also reportedly 
features a segment of Tonya skating (alone, it goes without 
saying) and skating performances by Katarina Witt, Oksana Baiul, 
Nancy Kerrigan, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Yuka Sato and Josee 
Chouinard. (Actually, the latter skater is listed as "Jose" 
Chouinard - must be one of Josee's Mexican relatives - perhaps 
Chuckie could fill us in...). In any case, we'll be filling you in 
with all the details afterwards, but in the meantime, to prepare 
for the big night, here's a few related sites you might want to 

The Fox network has its own site promoting the event. It's at:

Yearn for those nostalgic days of early '94 when Tonya was front 
page news just about every day? If so, this next site is for you! 
As part of its Nagano Olympics coverage, the Washington Post 
(home of that highly respected skating commentator, Christine 
Brennan) has prepared a whole section recycling the Tonya/Nancy 
incident. It can be found at:

and contains reprints of all the Post's articles on the scandal 
from that time. There's even a QUIZ you can take beforehand to 
test your Tonyaology quotient! Just the thing for those of you 
wanting to relive those golden days of Lillehammer all over 

The Boston Globe has a very intelligent and rather sad article on 
Tonya and what she's up to these days:

Jim Maxey was one of the people interviewed for this, but he was 
not impressed with the result. Still, it's nowhere near as snide 
and nasty as most of the articles about Tonya you find.

"People" Magazine also has an article, "Melting the Ice", at:

And finally, what Chris Jefferson describes as "an *outstanding* 
article about the Fab Four from Ninety-four", Kerrigan, Harding, 
Baiul, and Gordeeva, from "Time" magazine:


Yet another famous figure-skater has fallen foul of the law. Gary 
Beacom has always been one of the more individualistic skaters on 
the circuit. Unfortunately, he took his individualism a bit too 
far by deciding couldn't be bothered paying his income taxes. The 
judge didn't buy his claim that he thought taxes were "immoral", 
especially since he only stopped paying them in 1994, when his 
income rose dramatically on the back of the big skating boom, and 
fined him $50,000, ordered him to pay back taxes of $187,000 and 
sentenced him to 21 months in the can. Beacom didn't help his 
case by trying to defend himself in court. A word of advice, 
Gary: If your gonna mix it with the big boys at the IRS, you'd 
better get yourself some professional legal advice. Now he's 
going to be skating in the Jeff Gillooly Memorial Wing at the big 
house for the next couple of years. In addition, he'll probably 
be deported back to his native Canada when he's released, cutting 
him off from the lucrative US market. And that will cost him far 
more than any taxes he might have saved.

We find it strange that some consider Gary Beacom's tax evasion 
to be of greater seriousness than Oksana Baiul's drunk driving. 
Although the morality of taxes & tax evasion can be debated 
endlessly, it's worth noting that nobody has ever been killed by 
tax evasion, unlike drink-driving where many people are killed or 
maimed every year. It's also worth comparing the sentence dished 
out to Beacom with those dished out to others: Gillooly did six 
months for organizing a vicious kneecapping; the rest of his 
mates got 18 months. Baiul got a token fine for actions that 
could have had lethal consequences. Beacom's going to the can for 
longer than any of them for a crime with no violence and no 
victim. It seems to show where the law's real priorities lie - 
life-threatening behavior like reckless driving and vicious 
assaults are clearly not regarded as a big deal next to ripping 
off the government. Is it any wonder some people don't want to 
pay taxes when the government has such a distorted set of values 
and a lack of concern about protecting their safety?

Oh well, at least it means that maybe Tonya will have a potential 
pairs partner when he gets out - if he can find a country to let 
him skate.

(Note: We were originally going to head this section up "BEACOM 
BLOWS IT BIG TIME", but you've got to be careful about using 
words like that these days in case somebody in the White House 
gets the wrong idea...)


And speaking of political controversies, one of the big ones in 
New Zealand over recent months has been the issue of where to 
house all our burgeoning number of politicians. Originally it was 
planned to construct a large office building (that became dubbed 
by opponents as the "Parliamentary Palace") next to one of the 
existing buildings known locally as "The Beehive", but that got 
killed off when the public balked at its cost of over $NZ100 
million. Unfortunately, the government had by that stage already 
demolished Broadcasting House, the building that was on the site 
where the "Palace" was supposed to go, thus leaving a huge gaping 
hole in the ground.

Richard Prebble, leader of the ACT political party (and a leading 
opponent of the "Palace" project) has been calling for 
suggestions as to what to do with the hole. We at PortIce, always 
on the lookout for an opportunity to promote the Tonya cause, 
have sent him the following e-mail outlining our solution:

  "The Honorable Richard Prebble MP,
  Parliament Buildings,

  Dear Sir,

  We understand that you are looking for suggestions as to what
  should be done with the disgraceful gaping hole that has been
  left next to the Beehive as a result of the demolition of
  Broadcasting House.

  We believe that we have come up with a brilliant solution: turn
  the hole into a full Olympic size ice rink. Wellington is
  poorly served by skating facilities and sorely needs a decent
  ice rink, especially one close to town. We would also suggest
  that this would tie in quite nicely with our other suggestion,
  namely that ACT should put major effort into persuading the
  Government to offer citizenship to Tonya Harding, the two time
  US figure-skating champion and Olympian. Tonya is one of the
  world's truly great ice skaters but has been dealt a grave
  injustice by the skating snobs in her home country, who accuse
  her of organizing a kneecapping attempt on a rival skater
  several years ago despite a paucity of hard evidence and the
  case never even making it to trial. The new Beehive rink would
  offer an excellent facility for this superb athlete to train.
  We see strong similarities between yourself and Tonya as both
  of you are iconoclastic radicals dedicated to having a good
  stir and challenging the status quo.

  New Zealand has never been a major presence in world figure
  skating. All this could change with Tonya out here and the
  appointment of a Minister of Figure Skating to promote the
  sport. Certainly this would be a far better use of taxpayers
  money than spending it on fancy boxer shorts or gratuitous
  taxi rides like some MP's have done in the past (or, indeed the
  "Parliamentary Palace" that was supposed to be built on the
  Broadcasting House site). The result would be excellent
  publicity and prestige for New Zealand in the eyes of the world
  sporting community for very little outlay.

  We suggest you contact Tonya via her agent, David Hans Schmidt,
  DHS Public Relations
  608 East Missouri Avenue
  Suite E-2
  Phoenix AZ 85012

  Yours sincerely,

  Terence M Hall
  Portland Ice Skating Society, (the Tonya Harding Fan Club of
  New Zealand)
  - publisher of "The Portlandian", the Internet's leading
    source of Tonya news"

Jim Maxey -
Dave House -
Puppetboy -
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