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

July 25, 2022 Edition
(C) 2022 Portland Ice Skating Society

Welcome to another edition of "The Portlandian", with all the
Tonya news that's fit to print. In this issue, we have a chance
for fans to get ahold of some hot Tonya memorabilia, report on a
prominent Tonyaphile getting recognized - and pay tribute to
another. We also check out a couple of interesting Tonya
lookalikes (and some cats), unearth more footage from a skating
competition that Tonya won, listen to a bit of Tonya-inspired
music, revisit a birthday party from almost thirty years ago that
Tonya attended. And finish off with some Teletubbies and


We are pleased to announce an opportunity for Tonyaphiles to
purchase what have got to be some of the most famous non-skating-
related items of Tonya memorabilia out there - the dresses she
wore on "Dancing With The Stars" in 2018. Each dress comes with a
letter of authenticity - plus, since you are buying directly from
Tonya, you can be sure that every cent of your purchase is going
directly to our skating/dancing queen without any greedy
middlepersons taking their cut.

But, as they say in those steak knife infomercials "wait, there's
more!" Also on offer is the dress that she wore to the Los
Angeles premiere of "I, Tonya"! How's that for incredible value?
But you'd better be in quick, because at these prices, this offer
is likely to last about as long as a Russian general on the front
line - i.e. not very long at all!


Tonya has once again been a busy girl, posting more photos on her
Instagram account.

Tonya and her husband Joe:

Tonya with her beloved dad, Al Harding:

Tonya on her wedding day with Joe:

And just in time for the Fourth of July, Tonya in a flag

As you can see, she's lost even more weight!

Tonya has also added some new merchandise to her collection
on Fan Arch. First is her new "God Bless" clothing range:

And if you want to know what it looks like when worn, here's
Alison to model it for us:

There's also this Limited Edition autographed 8x10 photo:

Tonya is also now on Signd, where she is offering an autographed
photo along with a personalized video:


We are pleased to report that well-known Tonyaphile Sarah
Marshall has taken out the 2022 iHeartRadio Podcast of the Year
award for her "You're Wrong About" series. Back in 2019 she
devoted not one but two episodes of her podcast to Tonya:

It's not the first time that Sarah has been honored for her Tonya
work - in 2019 her podcast was recognized by both "Time" and
"Vogue" magazines as one of the best of the year. And her 2013
article "Remote Control", which helped to spark the current re-
evaluation of Tonya, made it into "The Best American Nonrequired
Reading of 2015", an annual collection which compiles the
country's best fiction, journalism, essays, comics and humor.

Here's the links to the Tonya episodes if you haven't heard them
(or just want to listen to them again - and who doesn't?):


In our last edition, we mentioned a photo of Tonya competing at
the 1988 Prize of Moscow News competition, which she won, in the
process becoming the first American woman to win a Russian
contest. But we lamented the fact that we were unaware of any
video footage of the event being on-line. Along with the 1993
NHK, this remains the most elusive of Tonya's performances.

Well, our prayers have now been answered - at least partly. Only
a few seconds, not the whole routine, can be found in this clip,
but it's the first we've got so far. It at least proves it was
televised. The fact that the sign with the contest name is in
English indicates it was aimed at an international audience, so
hopefully it was broadcast elsewhere:

Hopefully our luck will continue and more of it will emerge in
time. It's probably sitting in some TV archive in Russia - but
fat chance of anyone getting ahold of it under the current


Over the years there's been plenty of people who have dressed up
as our skating queen for various reasons, be it Halloween or
cosplay conventions, particularly in the wake of "I, Tonya". But
here's a couple who are extra noteworthy.

Breelie Taylor was a stand-in for Margot on the set of the movie
- and she can back up her claim with a listing in the IMDB, so
she's not just some poser trying to jump on the Tonya bandwagon:

Breelie says that she picked up the costume from a thrift store -
yes, it seems that mass-produced Tonya costumes are now a
"thing". And, as you can see, she can skate too:

A couple of Halloweens ago she did an encore, this time in
Tonya's triple axel outfit, in what can only be described as an
"I, Tonya"/"Jaws" crossover:

We've mentioned Corrine Lawrence from Australia a couple of
times, who likes to cosplay as Tonya, amongst other characters.
Here's her review of "I, Tonya", in which she explains why: it's
because she's a former skater herself (albeit a roller skater -
"where I grew up in the remote outback of Oz we didn’t have an
ice rink - too hot"). And like Tonya, she was an outsider:

After realizing that there was no chance she'd get "a fair suck
of the sav" (as the Aussies say) from the skating establishment
despite getting all the way to Nationals, she quit the sport at
the age of 14.

Corrine says that she's spoken to Tonya personally a few times
and thinks she's "a pretty decent person. She’s been through a
lot and I think she got mixed up with the wrong people out of
desperation to get away from a bad home life. I think skating
really is a snob sport and she deserved to be treated with the
same respect as everyone else regardless of her socioeconomic


We've mentioned before how Tonya's story has inspired many
musicians, from Loudon Wainwright III to Sufjan Stevens. Here's
another couple that have cropped up recently:

- The Last Minute Maybes are a Seattle-based act that describe
themselves as an "upbeat and sassy colláge pop band, specializing
in community-minded and charity events". Back in January 2020
they released this track, entitled "Do it like Tonya Harding":

Here's a short video clip of them performing the song live:

- on a more, er, "intense" note, Arre! Arre! are an all-girl punk
band from Malmö, Sweden, who namecheck Tonya, amongst several
other feminist icons, in the title track of their new album,
"Tell me all about them". At 1:28 long, it's like Tonya herself -
short, but packing plenty of energy:

And no, they don't sound anything like ABBA. You can find more
info on them here:

MIKE AMOWITZ - 1954-2022

A few months ago we mentioned the loss of Joe Haran, the former
editor of The Skater, the original Tonya fan club magazine.

Regrettably, we have to announce that yet another prominent
Tonyaphile has gone to that big ice rink in the sky - Mike
Amowitz of Alexandria, VA. who passed away in late March. I knew
Mike online for over 20 years and had the pleasure of meeting him
in person when he visited New Zealand in late 2010. Here is a
photo of him taken at Lyttelton, near Christchurch, at that time.


We continue our series on the artifacts supplied to us by Joe.

In July of that year, Tonya had moved into a new house after
separating from you-know-who, and Joe was invited to what he
thought was going to be a "house-warming party" to celebrate the
occasion. But as he recounted in an article back in 1999, things
were not all that they seemed - the party was in fact for him!


   One hot day during the summer of '93 I was out on the
   river, fishing with my friends Chris and Kris. I hadn't
   been fishing in decades. Back in the days when I did a
   fair amount of angling it was of the dry-fly variety, so
   this spin-casting stuff was foreign to me. Chris, a
   genuine fish-o-phile, hauled in the little creatures
   right and left while Kristin and I sat with fishless
   lines in the water--discussing the meaning of life, the
   universe and everything. We headed back to town late in
   the afternoon, as I was invited to attend an evening
   house-warming party for my friend Tonya. So I drove out
   to her new place, a rental house (sans Gillooly) east of
   Portland, with some small present for the occasion.

   I knocked on the front door, then heard Tonya's voice
   via the open garage: "We're in here, Joe!" So I went
   through the garage, up the couple of steps to a
   strangely-empty kitchen and was instantly stunned by a
   crowd of people shouting: "Surprise!" Chief among the
   heart-attack planners was Tonya who, decked out in
   matching tie-dyed pink shorts and tank top and sporting
   a huge smile, was upon me in a flash to give me a hug
   and wish me a happy birthday.

   I'd never felt quite so conspicuous in my life. She
   found my embarrassment to be worthy of much laughter, on
   her part especially. Due to Tonya's dead-pan and
   nonchalant invitation to her "house warming" party, I
   was actually surprised by her and the other surprisers;
   and that remains the one and only such ambush to which
   I've been subjected.

   There were the traditional balloons and streamers, a
   birthday cake, photographs taken--plus presents from
   Tonya, of course. We all had a good time. And that's the
   end of this little story, the memory of which still
   brings a smile to my face.

We've mentioned this story before back in our issue of Nov 12,

We've also had the photos on-line since then as well. But when
those scans were done around 15 years ago, scanning technology
was inferior to what we now have access to. And we had to further
dumb-down the quality to keep the file sizes small and download
speeds reasonable in a time when dial-up was still common. In an
era of 600 x 800 screen resolutions, the quality drop wouldn’t
have been noticeable, but these days it sticks out like a sore

Our philosophy has always been that only the best is good enough
for Tonya. Today, with better scanning technology, high
resolution screens and freed from the constraints of slow
internet, we can do better. So we've remastered these photos and
they now display the full resolution of the originals. The
results are far sharper and more detailed than what was
previously up there.

We've also cleaned up any dirt and scratches as well. Because
nobody wants a dirty Tonya.

And by the way, as an extra treat, we've also uploaded the card
that Tonya gave to Joe, which he also sent us:

And yes, we'll be doing the rest of the photos as well over time.


And now our regular roundup of Tonya-related odd & ends that
don't really fit anywhere else:

-  KATU (of exploding whale fame) has uploaded these Tonya news clips:

Great footage, much of it unseen for decades, with triple axels
galore, though it's a pity some of the tapes are in bad
condition. The guy in the green shirt at the start giving Tonya a
hug is her dad, Al Harding, the other guy in the yellow Team
Tonya t-shirt is Joe Haran, the editor of her fan club magazine
"The Skater" who died a few months back. The woman on the right
of frame in the same type of shirt about 50 seconds in is Elaine
Stamm, a former charm school teacher who was the club's

- A Champions on Ice photo from 1992:

- In October 2001, Tonya appeared on the quiz show "The Weakest
Link". Bits of it have been on-line before, but you can see the
whole episode here. Unfortunately, Tonya seems to go blank and
doesn't get any of the questions right - though at least she's
not the first to get booted off:

- A Tonya phone case: (4/10)

- Tonya with a fan: 4/27

- This sticker was spotted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.
recently. Interestingly, that's not that far from the THNK1994
Museum, so we wonder if it's anything to do with them?

- Two hairless cats named Tonya & Nancy (but how do they tell
which is which?):

Next up, a few "I, Tonya" related bits & pieces:

- a few IT photos, some of which have been published before, but
also some behind the scenes that haven't: (4/14)

- Paul Walter Hauser/Seb/Margot on the IT set: (4/10)

- Sebastian, Evan Peters, Will Malnati, Chase Crawford and Tonya
at the Golden Globes: 6/7

- Seb at the IT premiere at TIFF, 8 Sept 2017:

- Margot at Berlin premiere:  8/2021

- All Margot's costumes from "I, Tonya":

- an IT no-comment tee: (7/1)


A thin crop this time around - but as we'll see, lack of quantity
does not equal lack of quality.

We kick off with a Portland tattoo artist's tribute to two
Oregonian icons, Tonya & Courtney Love:

- Ona Greenberg (missngnmbr) Lombard St Tattoo Parlor.

- barridoff auctions

Eric Aho was the official artist of the US Ski Team during the
1994 Lillehammer Games, but he also did this pastel on paper
drawing showing the notable skaters warming up prior to
competition. Not sure which one is supposed to be Tonya, however.

The triple axel continues to remain a firm favorite with artists:
- Mariii (artbymari)

- amelie.graux

- eszelart

Some "I, Tonya"-inspired works:

- Jordan (therealgirljordan) - slouchy Tonya in a chair:
      "I think you’re my favourite."
      "She left and came back."
      - cigarette & skate poster

- Pretentious? MOI? (timsinclairarthole) - smoking Tonya drawing (color) (b&w)

- courthartdoesselftapes - Los Angeles. re-enactment of the
mirror scene:

- reelcinephilia - an alternative IT poster
    Strange background, though:

- dulce.n.daniels_art - the IT wedding scene:
   "Tonya deserved the whole world and it was taken from her.
   Small fanart of the movie I, Tonya (2017), because yesterday I
   couldn't get the wedding scene out of my head."

- Lawrence L. Cunningham (thereallcunninghamii) - this Women's
  History Month montage features Tonya:

- hason_vintage_shop, Thailand - A rarity here: a Nancy t-shirt:

Finally, last time we mentioned that a number of people had done
fake IT VHS tape covers - and bemoaned the fact that no-one had
done a Betamax version. So we did our own - and also an 8-track
cartridge version of the soundtrack - as an April Fool's day


If you've read recently about concerns that Google's AI is in
danger of becoming sentient and taking over the world, we think
that this search result will reassure you that it has a VERY long
way to go before we're into "open the pod bay doors, HAL"

We tossed this picture of Tonya as a kid into "Google Lens" to
see what it came up with. It's result - Cindy Brady from the
Brady Bunch - is wrong, but it's a good guess given that it's
pretty blurry. Certainly no worse than what a human would come up

But.. tweak the size of the window slightly and it now thinks
that Tonya's a Teletubby:

This one fairs even worse:

Well, she did skate to Jurassic Park. But that's the thing about
AI - at times it can be so accurate that even experts might be
fooled into thinking it's alive, but then it does something
totally brainless like confusing Tonya with a dinosaur and you
realize it's just a dumb machine after all.


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