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

February 9, 1998 Edition - WINTER OLYMPICS ISSUE
(C) 1998 Portland Ice Skating Society


In the wake of the Fox special "Breaking the Ice" there has been 
a massive response, almost all of it positive, that has 
overwhelmed the Tonya web sites. Tonya has been highly praised 
for her handling of the interview with James Brown that screened 
in the US on Thursday, in which she came face to face with Nancy 
Kerrigan for the first time since the Lillehammer Winter 
Olympics. The special also included a brilliant skating display 
by Tonya (regrettably on a separate rink from the others) that 
was considered the highlight of the show by many.

Indeed, many who watched considered that Tonya's routine was 
easily the best of the bunch of otherwise lackluster 
performances. A flabby, overweight Oksana Baiul couldn't even 
land a clean triple jump or a double axel despite a no doubt 
untold number of retakes. By comparison, many were amazed at 
Tonya's excellent physical condition and continued superb jumping 
skills despite reports of a rather intermittent and laid back 
training schedule that Tonya has adopted since moving to 
Vancouver, Washington last year. 

In contrast, the event appears to have been a public relations 
disaster for Kerrigan, who has never interviewed well, and whom 
appeared to have been reluctantly forced into the whole deal by 
her husband/agent Jerry Solomon in exchange for the promise of a 
few skating specials by Fox at some time in the future. For most 
of the interview Kerrigan looked distinctly uncomfortable and 
never looked either Brown or Tonya in the eye. This is hardly 
surprising given the circumstances, but for many it just 
reinforced their view of Nancy as cold and aloof, especially her 
refusal to acknowledge Tonya's apology. All of which was totally 
needless too as Nancy by all accounts was not paid for the 
interview itself and has been perfectly happy raising her new 
baby. A word of advice to Jerry: if he can't improve Nancy's 
media skills he should just keep her as far away from microphones 
as possible before he does any more damage to her public image 
with these sort of dumb-assed projects.

But the big 1.0 for class has to go to Roz Sumners, who 
ungraciously used the opportunity to needlessly slag off at 
Tonya, declaring "I wish her no success". Presumably that means 
that Roz will be giving away to charity her share of all the huge 
pots of money she and the others who refused to skate on the same 
ice as Tonya have made out of the massive skating boom the whole 
Tonya/Nancy incident caused. After all, we wouldn't want them to 
taint themselves by profiting from a crime, right? Or perhaps 
they're quite happy to profit from a crime when somebody else 
does the dirty work. Are these clowns really so naive they think 
most people actually tuned in to the Fox special just to watch 

In addition to the skaters, there were also interviews with 
Multnomah County DA Norm Frink and Tonya's ex-scumbag Jeff 
Gillooly. Perhaps the biggest revelation was when Tonya appeared 
genuinely surprised and shocked to learn that Gillooly (or Mr. 
"Stone" as he now calls himself) and his goons had at one time 
considered killing Nancy. Anyone who's seen "Breakaway" knows 
Tonya's acting isn't that good, so her reaction must be genuine.

But there is more to come. Rumors are that Jeff Gillooly/Stone or 
whatever name he's using this week will appear on a segment of a 
show hosted by Marcia Clark (the woman who lost the OJ Simpson 
case) sometime in the next few months. Gillooly will be taking a 
lie detector test to supposedly confirm his statements about 
Tonya's involvement in the crime.


Meanwhile, the 1998 Winter Olympics have opened in Nagano, Japan. 
In a dignified, low key ceremony the Olympic flame was lit by 
figure skater Midori Ito, notable as the only woman besides Tonya 
who has ever mastered the Triple Axel. With the Olympics now 
under way, we thought it would be appropriate to take the 
opportunity to have a look at a book that exposes a great deal 
about what really goes on behind the scenes at the Olympics:


"The Lords of The Rings" (US title: "Dishonored Games: 
Corruption, Money, and Greed at the Olympics") by Vyv Simson and 
Andrew Jennings. UK edition: Simon & Schuster, 1992, ISBN 0-671-
71225-X. US Edition: Published by Spi Books Trade; Publication 
date: July 1992; ISBN: 1561711993.  

The book the IOC tried to ban. No Hobbits here - (or even Tonya). 
Instead this book, written by two British journalists, reveals 
the wheeling, dealing, bribery, drug abuse, sex scandals and 
corruption that goes on in the Olympic hierarchy and will dispel 
any doubts that "Olympic gold" means anything other than money 
these days. For instance:

- pissed about all those commercials that ruined the CBS coverage 
of the opening ceremony (including the "Ode To Joy")? Simson & 
Jennings reveal that the man to blame is Horst Dassler and his 
sports marketing company, ISL. Dassler, the late founder of the 
Adidas sports shoe empire, was no Al Bundy - he is in fact one of 
the leading culprits in the conversion of the Olympics from a 
sports festival into a marketing exercise, most of the profits 
from which go straight into the coffers and secret Swiss bank 
accounts of the IOC. Most of this money comes from US 
corporations (and indirectly US consumers), who are forced to 
shell out big bucks for TV coverage and the right to call 
themselves the "official bathroom tissue of the Olympics" or 
whatever, whilst little of the money actually filters back to 
American athletes - as an example, only 2.5% of the $609 million 
that ABC and NBC paid out for the Calgary & Seoul Olympics went 
back to the USOC. And on top of this, Americans have to have 
their TV coverage interrupted by piles of advertising to pay for 
it all. Thankfully us down here in Kiwiland are fortunate to be 
getting the Canadian CBC version, which has nowhere near as many 
commercial breaks.

- in addition to chronicling the growing overcommercialization of 
the Olympics, this book reveals the astounding perks of and 
wastage of money by the IOC executive members, who travel the 
world in luxury jets and stay in first class hotels whilst 
athletes sweat in overcrowded dorms during the summer games. Many 
of these are appointed hacks from totalitarian regimes; much of 
the former Eastern Bloc countries are still represented by old 
Communist Party rejects, some of whom aren't scheduled to retire 
until well into the next century - or even later, if IOC 
President Juan Antonio Samaranch raises the retirement age yet 
again as he's done several times already to extend his own 
tenure. Even then they will still enjoy honorary non-voting 
membership for life.

- and speaking of totalitarian dictatorships, Samaranch gave a 
very interesting speech about human rights when declaring the 
Games open in Nagano. It sounded convincing, but unfortunately 
his own record on the issue ain't so hot. Simson & Jennings 
expose some very revealing info about Samaranch and his role in 
General Franco's brutal Fascist government in Spain that 
strangely enough never appears in any of his official 
biographies! Samaranch tried to sue the authors, but not in any 
of the 30 countries in which the book was published such as the 
US, where free speech is protected. Instead, he turned to the 
IOC's home country of Switzerland, whose archaic libel laws mean 
that honest people can be thrown in jail for saying anything 
derogatory about famous people, even if it's true! But even there 
they were only fined $1000 and given five days jail. Fortunately 
they didn't turn up in Switzerland for the trial.

- want to make a bid for hosting the Olympics? Forget all those 
fancy business plans and multi-media marketing presentations; 
you'll be far better off spending the money on lavish "gifts" for 
the IOC executive members, and hiring the best hookers money can 
buy. Assorted insiders blow the lid off how the IOC bigwigs 
*really* decide who gets to host the Games.

- nor does the US Olympic Committee get away scot free. The USOC, 
that bastion of "ethical" behavior and "sportsmanlike" values 
which tried to get Tonya tossed off the US skating team has also 
had its share of scandal, in particular USOC President Robert 
Helmick, who resigned in disgrace in the early '90's when he was 
caught taking kickbacks from various big companies anxious to be 
Games sponsors. Helmick sold his country out in his attempts to 
get onto the IOC executive, and blew millions of the USOC's money 
on lavish parties and his own expenses. (As an aside, his 
replacement was William Hybl, who ran on a strong "ethics" 
platform and later sat on the USFSA committee that banned Tonya 
for life. Could it be he was trying to make an example out of 
Tonya to enhance his own stance on "ethics"?).

This bestseller was followed by a sequel in 1996, "The New Lords 
of The Rings", which covers Lillehammer and Atlanta and digs up 
even more dirt. It should be read by anybody who cares about the 
direction in which modern international sport is going. 
Unfortunately now out of print, but certainly worth trying to 
find a copy at the local library or secondhand bookstore.


Work on the Portice Web site is nearly complete and will soon be 
up and running at:

You can cruise on by now and see our temporary home page. We'll 
be rolling the site out in two phases over the next two weeks as 
the Winter Olympics progress. Phase One will feature a Tonya FAQ, 
a list of skating achievements, sources for Tonya-related books, 
a sample issue of that original Tonya fanzine "The Skater" and of 
course a Portlandian archive. Phase Two will feature a biography, 
the case for the defense plus a series of essays that expose the 
hypocrisy that Tonya has been subjected to and outline our 
strategy for a massive campaign to get Tonya back on the ice. So 
check in every couple of days or so while the Games are on as 
there's bound to be something new.


No, she's not got another husband again! Instead, cop a load of 

Q: What do Tonya Harding and Monica Lewinsky have in common?

A: They are both famous for blows delivered on the knees!

Jim Maxey -
Dave House -
Puppetboy -
Valerie Smith -
Back to Portlandian index
Back to PortIce Home Page

This page hosted by Get your own Free Home Page