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

November 12, 2021 Edition - SPECIAL 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
(C) 2021 Portland Ice Skating Society

Welcome to the annual birthday issue of The Portlandian for 2021.
Tonya turns 51 on this day, which alone is a good reason to
celebrate. But this year, there's a second reason, and that's
because it's a double birthday as it's also the 25th birthday of
"The Portlandian" itself! And in traditional Portlandian style,
we've marked the occasion with a cake:

The doll is an Ice Skater Barbie. The turquoise lettering
symbolizes the dress that Tonya wore when she landed the Triple
Axel at the 1991 Nationals.

We also found some old photos of a couple of previous cakes,
including the first one from 1995:

These photos from 2018 show a better view of the original doll.
The skate blades on the original one were made out of parts from
an old electric razor:

We've also got a previously unpublished photo of Tonya, a few
articles that we've added to our Joe Haran tribute annex that he
sent us, plus the usual roundup of Tonya fan art and cosplay.
Then we'll finish with a tribute to a Portland institution with a
strong Tonya connection.


Rather than bore you with a rehash of our first 20 years, we'll
refer you to our 20th anniversary issue in 2016 for that part:

Since then, there's been lots more going on, most notably the
release of "I, Tonya". Here's some of the highlights:

- our report of the casting list for the main parts, and of the
filming in Georgia:

- we also had full coverage of the premiere at the Toronto Film
Festival and its screening in various film festivals:

- our review of the movie:

- 2018 also saw Tonya appear on "Dancing With The Stars",
reaching the final with her dance partner, Sasha Farber:

- we celebrated the end of 2018, one of Tonya's best years ever,
with a rundown of the "I, Tonya" soundtrack:

- 2019 saw the Great Tonya Comeback continue. In March of that
year, she was invited to speak at a fundraiser for domestic abuse
victims at the University of Oregon in Eugene:

- and also appear on "Worst Cooks In America", ultimately winning
the prize for most improved cooking:

- Tonya also featured in an advertising campaign for Direct Auto
Insurance, based on the idea that everybody deserves a second

- the Covid pandemic has heavily restricted Tonya's activities
over the past two years, however she has recently set up an
online shop on Fan Arch where you can order merchandise, and also
joined Cameo, where you can order a personalized greeting:

Here's an example of what you'll get with the latter - Tonya,
with her cat Rocket (now all grown up), and a bunch of pumpkins:

   ladymiss.christy - writes "I'm in Heaven! It really doesn't
   get better than this! Tonya Harding and Rocket Rule"


One of our favorite Tonyaphile activities is trying to find
photos of her that haven't been widely seen before. Well, we're
pleased to announce we've got one that as far as we can tell, has
never seen the light of day until now, and appears to contain the
only picture on the Internet of Tonya's choreographer, Barbara
Flowers. Although other photos from the same shoot are on line,
this one hasn't surfaced so far to our knowledge:

Taken at the 1991 Worlds in Munich that March, it was sent to us
some years ago by a fan in Chauvin, Louisiana. She tells us that:

   You may also be interested to know that the pic
   accompanied an article that ran just prior to the 1992
   Olympics in the Lafayette, La. newspaper. (I was a
   reporter there at the time, but no, I didn't do that
   particular interview.) The choreographer's family was
   from Lafayette and so we ran an interview with her
   about Tonya. This was, of course, a good two years
   before any hint of scandal and Harding's story was at
   that time the stereotypical Cinderella one. The
   choreographer mailed the pic to the paper; one of the
   paper's photographers gave it to me shortly afterward
   because he knew I was a skating fan. (Those are crop
   marks on the back.)

The marks on the back she mentions make reference to "Sun", so
this was most likely the LaFayette Sun newspaper.


These are not the only new Tonya photos to surface recently.

Recently this photo was posted to the Reinstate Tonya Harding
group that we havenít seen before. We were guessing it was from
one of the tours she was on in the early 90s. Only clue is that
the now-defunct bank mentioned on the signage was based in
Buffalo, NY. and an article that mentions the 1992 Tom Collins
tour (which featured Tonya) stopped in that city and performed at
the Memorial Auditorium (a venue known locally as The Aud) on
April 26:

But the case gets more interesting. This photo shows that the
bank logo was in use at The Aud in Buffalo in Nov 1991. But the
wording is on the other side, and thereís a yellow skirting board
around the bottom thatís not present in the Tonya photo. Plus,
itís obviously had a bruising from the hockey - the Tonya one
looks in much better shape:

Some suggest it may date from circa 1990 because of her dress.
Skate America was held in that arena in the fall of that year,
but Tonya wasn't there that year. And the different signage
suggests it may be another location anyway. One other possibility
could be the Tom Collins tour from early 1991 - Tonya joined in
the latter part of the tour. Unfortunately, we've yet to find an
itinerary that says what locations the tour visited.

So this leaves a third possibility: maybe some kind of one-off
event she was invited to in that general area, perhaps around
1990 or so because of the outfit. We'd be happy to hear from
anybody who may be able to shed light on this.

Alison Davies has also come across this picture of Tonya that
featured in NBC's "Nancy & Tonya" special back in 2014. As far as
we can tell, Tonya only wore this dress once, in her 1990
Nationals Short Program:

Is this the dress that the judge told her not to wear again or
she'd get low marks? The one that inspired I, Tonya's most famous

If we look at the scene in the film where she confronts the
judge, you can see it's something of a similar style, but not
identical. Generally the costumes in "I, Tonya" were dead
accurate, but this seems to be one where they took some artistic
license, probably because the scene itself is largely made up:


As we promised last time, we have begun uploading some items that
Joe Haran sent to us several years ago. The first batch covers
material from before "The Incident":

   Joe says "A 'Tonya!' bumper sticker, one of the one-hundred I
   had made in 1992. YOU CAN KEEP THIS.  IT'S YOURS.  IT LOOKS

   (We'd suggest best of all on a big, grunty pickup truck)

   An article about Tonya in the February 1992 edition of
   "Guideposts" (a religious magazine):

   An article about Tonya in the April 3, 1993 edition of "The
   Outlook" (the daily newspaper in Gresham) about Tonya acting
   as Grand Marshall for a local parade:

   Another write-up about Tonya in the May 29, 1993 edition of
   "The Outlook", about Tonya raising money for a school. Tonya's
   charity work is often "overlooked" by the media:


With winter fast approaching, you'll be needing a way to keep
warm on the skating rink - or off it. Or perhaps you're just
looking for Christmas gift ideas. Obviously the first thing on
your list is going to be one of Tonya's excellent sweatshirts on
Fan Arch, but if you've already got one, here's another one that
you can add to your wardrobe - this store is making "No Comment"
sweatshirts just like Tonya's from back in '94!

     "Been making these throwback Tonya Harding sweatshirts for a
      few years now. The message is from the 90s but really it's
      timeless. Since winter is gonna be another 6 weeks may as
      well invest in a cozy sweatshirt."

This is not the first time someone has made these shirts
available. Back in 2014, we ran an article about another
Tonyaphile by the name of Dayna Tortorici who made a limited run
of these things:

At the time she said:

  "I am totally a Tonya apologist," says Tortorici. "The scandal
  was informed by all kinds of prejudice... It's clear Tonya was
  guilty of knowing who was behind the attack and not telling the
  police right away - but it was a different time, and nobody
  seemed to stick up and say, Well, of course she didn't, she was
  married to an abusive man who threatened her."

If you want to see how accurate they are, here's the original:

And when summer comes around, there's always one of Tonya's t-
shirts, as modeled here by Gisa:


And if you want to make a toast to Tonya on her birthday, here's
a way to do it. Two purveyors of alcoholic beverages have been
motivated to create something in her honor. First up, Mountain
Culture Beer Co. of Katoomba, NSW, Australia, have come up with a
couple of limited edition craft beers dedicated to Tonya and her
skating rival. The can designs are inspired by their 1994
Olympics practice outfits:

Unfortunately their online store seems to be sold out, but we
believe they are still in stock elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Wine & Spirit Co of Greenville, Delaware, have
created "Rye, Tonya", a 115 proof, 5 and a half year, single-
barrel rye whiskey from Knob Creek. Price is $54.99 a bottle. No
word on the origin of the name:


Generally Tonyaween this year has been something of a letdown, in
both the quality and quantity of the crop of Tonya impersonators,
the latter perhaps being impacted by the pandemic. In terms of
the former, we seem to be back to people wielding clubs and iron
bars again in many cases. But there are a few that do stand out:

Stacey Gokool (missusgroover) - another early example from the
    I've always been a little warped. My Tonya to my friend
    Melissa's Nancy for Halloween circa 1994.

V-Ronika St. James (vronstjames) Washington, DC. does a good

Jennifer Dodds Fox (navigatewstyle) does a good LaVona too:

Khaled (filmingkh) Portland OR.

Fee Basanavicius (fbasanavicius) Chicago, IL. - Tonya & LaVona

electricpalacehastings UK - staff member Judith giving you her
best Tonya Harding in a "Mimic a film scene" contest.

tina.turnon Taylor Square, Sydney, Australia

Izabella Miko (izabellamiko) - Tonya meets Michael Myers

    I dressed up as #tonyaharding this year and it made me
    think, itís so crazy that someone who was so talented, who
    such an amazing athlete wonít be remembered for that, but for
    one awful thing. Itís such a fine line but more so in todayís
    #cancelculture where everything youíve ever worked for can be
    gone in one moment just because the media decided to steer it
    that way. You used to have to actually DO something bad for
    you to be canceled, now itís enough for you to just support
    or not support a movement that the media deems right or
    wrong. #walkingoneggshells class should be in order for all
    public peeps!

Sarah (ladyjadda) - see her lip-synching to "Barracuda" in the
final video:

Joseph Emde (jwpants) Los Angeles - Tonya & LaVona

Samantha Browning (stbrowning) - not the boxer who fought against
Tonya in the early 2000s:

lea_v.d - Quebec, Canada
    Ben contente que ma robe me fasse encore (Been glad that
    my dress still fits me)

(meghanjohns) Atlanta GA.

Miranda Kildee (mirandakildee)

And finally, a couple of Nancy's - very rare to find these on
their own, unaccompanied by Tonya's:

   Alexia Antonella Binanti (alexia_antonella) San Diego CA.

   Stephen Lugowe (lugoeslow)


And now it's time for a special birthday fan art roundup:

Simon Birch (delargebc) London Borough of Hackney - a special
triple axel tribute:
    "I specifically made this music with this video in mind type

Amaya | after effects (lclasv) has made a number of Tonya video
montages: - deserved better - triple axel - our little redneck
       princess - birthday tribute


    Thank you for being you. Youíre truly an inspiration to many.
    Myself included. Youíre so strong and sadly, a lot of people
    relate to your story in some way. You have made me realize
    that a lot of shit can happen, that on your worst days, donít
    give up no matter how hard it is because miracles happen to
    those who are patient. Iím sorry people didnít listen to you
    and continue to ignore the truth. You deserve nothing but the
    very best. You mean sooooo much to me and Iím so proud of
    whom youíve become as a person and as a mother. The clips of
    you in your camo jacket is my favourite. I feel like itís one
    that expresses who you are. Americaís redneck Princess. (and
    Canadaís) I wanna meet you and give you the BIGGEST hug. You
    deserve so much love. I wanna fall on the ice with you, you
    seem fun to fall with. You seem like a really fun person in
    general. I hope you have a great day today/tomorrow. Have
    lots of cake, obviously. I love you. - Amaya

It wouldn't be a Tonya birthday without Gisa!

    Today is the birthday of the amazing @therealtonyaharding, so
    I'm Posting the second batch of my Nylon flowers that are
    inspired by Tonya's famous costumes.
    Tonya, I Wish you an awesome Birthday and everything good in
    the world.
    The flower on the left was inspired by the pretty white and
    flooftzy costume that Tonya Made herself.
    The one of the right of course was inspired by her famous
    Triple Axel costume.
    I used Pantyhose fabric, Wire, sparkly chenille wires and
    tinsel Garland and If course Glitter paint for the
    decorations. Hope you Like them.

    Yooptzah everybody (especially fellow Tonya Fans),
    I still haven't shown all of my Hand-Made necklaces inspired
    by the amazing @therealtonyaharding but here's a new one.
    It's inspired by her hot pink costume from Skate America SP
    1991 and has a Lot of sparkle.
    I used Glass cabochons I hand-painted with several coats of
    Nail polish and glued Into Metal settings, Crystal Glass
    beads, acrylic beads, metal Pendants, Chain and Wire.
    Hope you'll like it.

    She is like fairytale. I have never lost my way because
    tonya's story inspired me. - montage

Oliver Flude (ollyflude) Rochdale, UK - Margot as Tonya 3 axel
pencil sketch

McKenna Grace & Steven Rogers on the "I, Tonya" set can be seen
at the start of this video:

    Where were you in 1991?? Celebrate the start of the 90ís with
    this colourful print (makes a brilliant and slightly bonkers
    30th birthday present!). This print was created by sampling
    colours from a selection of photographs/images from iconic
    moments in 1991. The idea of this minimalistic print is to
    condense some of the significant colours and moments of the
    year into a visual slice of history.

    13. Turquoise/Green of the costume that ice skater Tonya
    Harding was wearing when she became the first woman to
    perform a Triple Axel in the US Championships.

Princeton Architectural Press (papress) - Tonya outfits color

Cass Stevens (soggysavoy) - Tonya smoking

Multifandom - harleysbutterfly

KP (garfieldfrommemory) - Tonya and Nancy as Garfield cats
    SOLD! - THE MIRACLE ON ICE! No, wait, I think I screwed that
    up hahaha. Seriously, though, as a kid in 1994, the Nancy
    Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident was about as wild as my small
    world had ever gotten (at least since the previous year when
    the whole Lorena Bobbitt thing went down). I shouldíve
    included that picture of Kerrigan at Disneyland (she is
    obviously not feeling the magic) but thatís a google image
    search rabbit hole Iíd rather not go down at present, if only
    because I know I could get lost in there forever.

Marie (nixie_doll), France
    "Tonya dit la vérité!" "Ça existe pas la vérité tout le monde
    a sa propre vérité." ("Tonya is telling the truth!" "There's
    no such thing as truth, everyone has their own truth.")

Emilia (milliecutefoxo) - crying Tonya:

Emma m (aeemmmoor)

John Klein (johnkleindesign)
    "I do not want to tell this story as if Tonya was a victim.
    Somewhat she called herself 'a little tiger' which she was."


Art by Daniel Soomro (soomro_art)
    Day 16. Some tonya harding poses, loved doing this and being
    loose again! digital pastel looks amazing i think i shall try
    to use it more often. background is an ink wash that
    complimented the digital studies so well. a piece where
    everything fell into place pretty easily iím happy:) but gen
    deserves all the credit for showing me I, Tonya i loved
    watching it with her she stay putting me on.

And finally - just in time for Christmas comes the perfect
decorations: Tonya and Nancy Christmas tree ornaments, courtesy
of Jason Thomas:


Some sad news to finish off with - another important location in
Tonya history is about the bite the dust. The Lloyd Center mall
in Portland, that city's oldest shopping mall and one of the two
main locations where Tonya trained, is likely to shut after over
60 years of operation. A group of financiers is foreclosing on
the mall after its owner, Cypress Equities of Dallas, failed to
make payments on a loan used to fund mall renovations - including
a downsizing of the ice rink - made in the mid 2010s. As the
other rink where Tonya trained, at the Clackamas Town Center
mall, was removed in a remodeling there in 2003, this means that
both of the rinks where Tonya spent most of her time learning her
craft have now been lost.

This news report of the foreclosure has a brief clip of Tonya at

Opened in 1960 with over 100 stores, Lloyd Center was reckoned to
be the biggest shopping mall in the US at that time, and also the
first in the world with an ice rink. This page has a few photos
on it, including one of Tonya (albeit at Clackamas) and also of
Diane Schatz (now Rawlinson) doing a promotion for Chrysler in

And it was in 1974 that Tonya, at the tender age of what "I,
Tonya" screenwriter Stephen Rogers poetically described as "a
soft 4", first took to the ice under Rawlinson's tutelage, before
later shifting to the Clackamas rink on the other side of town.
However, Tonya would later return to the Lloyd Center rink, this
time as teacher instead of student. In an interview for PDX
Monthly magazine in September, rink manager Don Baldwin, who died
a couple of weeks ago, describes Tonya's time there working as a
coach in the early 2000s:

   "Have you had any superstars learn to skate here?

   Tonya Harding worked for me as a coach from 2000 to 2002,
   roughly. She really knew a lot to pass on to the kids. We try
   to be a feeder rink ó and by that I mean, we take kids who
   have never set foot on ice, and then once they get to a
   certain point they are better off going somewhere else. And we
   smile and wave goodbye to them and tell them to come back and
   visit and tell us how things went, you know?"

Skater and dancer Andrew Parodi also recently shared memories of
his time at the rink as a student of Tonya's, including a
voicemail she left when she couldn't make it to a lesson in 1999:

   "Voicemail Tonya left me years ago. Being on the ice with
   Tonya was the most exhilarating experience of my life. But I
   remember feeling sorry for her when I said to her, "I feel
   like everyone is staring at us."  She humbly pointed at
   herself and said almost apologetically, "It's because of who I
   am."  This was long before the movie @itonyamovie was
   released, which has since given her some redemption in the
   eyes of society. I remember her telling me about the hard time
   some people would sometimes give her, the way they would try
   to make fun of her. Anyway, she later told me that the reason
   she had to fly to Los Angeles was to star in an episode of the
   HBO show "Arliss." (It was while I was on the ice with Tonya
   that I started to realize I had "feelings" for her. I remember
   writing in my journal: "I havenít had a crush on anyone in a
   long time, and when I do Ö it's on Tonya Harding?")

The rink was subjected to two downsizings in its history, the
first in the late 1980s, and the second in the mid-Teens, the
latter leaving it around 25% smaller than before and a bizarre
oval shape - and completely useless for serious competitive
skating. This video, taken in 2011, shows the rink before the
latest butchery:

We covered this stupidity at the time, in our August 11, 2015
edition. At that time we wrote:

    "There is also the danger that the redesigned rink will be
    such a flop that it will eventually be closed completely.
    This will basically leave the mall as a JAFM - Just Another
    Frigging Mall that looks like the thousands of others in the
    U.S. In an era when malls across America are dying by the
    dozen, jeopardizing the future of Lloyd Center's most
    distinctive feature is flat-out foolhardy."

As it turned out, these were prophetic words. And while there is
a certain smug satisfaction in being able to say "we told you
so" and in watching Cypress Equities lose its shirt over this,
it's more than outweighed at the sadness of losing another piece
of Tonya - and Portland - history. In the end, Lloyd Center was a
victim of changing retail patterns. Whereas teenagers of the John
Hughes and Kevin Smith era of the '80s and '90s would hang out at
the mall, they are now hanging out on TikTok, Twitter, or the
latest fad social media platform du jour. And they're spending
their money on-line as well, with the likes of Amazon. Toss in
the fact that the Lloyd District area has deteriorated, with
large amounts of drug addicts and homeless, and then a pandemic,
and it was perhaps inevitable that the mall was doomed.

Suggestions for what to do with the mall site have ranged from
housing to a baseball stadium. But we've got a better idea:
change the name slightly from Lloyd Center to Floyd Center - and
make it into the world's largest Pink Floyd Museum. And in honor
of their song "The Thin Ice" from their 1979 album "The Wall", it
should include an absolutely massive skating rink as its


PortIce -
David House -
Charlie Main -
Puppetboy -
Valerie Smith -
Swan Lake -
Blades of Gold -