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

January 16, 1999 Edition - A NEW YEAR, A NEW HOPE

(C) 1999 Portland Ice Skating Society

In our first issue of the New Year, we are pleased to report that 
a major Tonya TV extravanganza that we mentioned back in November 
is soon to air in the U.S.


The E! Entertainment Network screens it's "True Hollywood Story" 
special on Tonya on January 17th, 1999 at 8pm EST. (Yes, I know 
Tonya isn't in Hollywood, but "True Portland Story" doesn't quite 
have the same ring to it). This special runs for two hours and 
features an exclusive interview with Tonya and her Godparents, 
Greg and Linda Lewis, plus an interview with Shane "hit man" 
Stant - proving that this clown actually can string a sentence 
together, though whether it'll be the truth is anyone's guess. 
Whatever the outcome, it's time to stock up on blank tape and set 
that VCR.

As you would expect, the PortIce Special Duties Section has been 
involved, in this case assisting the staff at the E! network in 
tracking down obscure Tonya footage. Paul Heet, a member of the 
E! staff involved in the preparation of the show, reports to us 
that Tonya looks "awesome" in her interview.

Despite her setbacks, Tonya remains positive: "It's getting 
harder and harder to keep my chin up, but that's life, that's 
society," says Tonya in the interview. "I'll always keep 
fighting, no matter how much it hurts. There's no reason to give 
up on life. I mean, it's too precious."

"I apologized so many times," says Tonya. "I paid my price and 
people just won't give me a second chance."

The interview also shows how Tonya is currently employed as a 
skating instructor at a local rink. Despite regularly being the 
butt of rude comments, she says she is determined "to give kids a 
part of what I learned over the years."

Recently, we received the following message about how Tonya is 
progressing from Roy Edwards, webmaster of the official Tonya 
Harding web site:

   Hi Terry. It's been awhile. I understand your concern. Me too. 
   Tonya has been let down so many times by people who would use 
   her or her name for their own advantage. There are too many 
   who think she's a push-over. As you know, she's been too 
   trusting and has had difficulty deciding who is for real and 
   who's on the take, or make.

   Let's just say Tonya decided her interests were best served by 
   removing herself from a potentially uncomfortable or 
   unfriendly relationship. There's more, of course, but nothing 
   that interesting, or at least nothing I have permission to 
   share or know. However, I can say I met with Tonya and Linda 
   for an hour and a half and had a great time. Tonya is in good 
   spirits, open for good and decent people to represent her, is 
   confident, in shape, working hard but is happy and getting on 
   with her life. I was impressed by the woman, the person and am 
   convinced all she needs is the right break from someone who 
   cares and has the ability to pull the strings.  She still has 
   the talent and keeps in practice. But she’s not going to lose 
   it all if the big break never happens. But what a waste if it 
   never happened. She loves the idea and possibility of teaching 
   ice-skating to children of all ages.

   When I met Tonya, what struck me was her cultivated 
   appearance, not at all the tough trailer-trash kid people have 
   written about; she’s vulnerable as well as strong, contrary to          
   what one gets from all the standard photos and gossip. Tonya    
   is delighted and warmed by all the attention from her fans 
   everywhere. That's easy to see watching her relate to all the 
   messages and concern from her fans on all the websites 
   including yours. She seemed almost embarrassed by all the 
   admiration.  She honestly does not understand her continued 
   celebrity and quickly shows that familiar cute smile we’ve all 

   Tonya’s long time friend and God Mother was with Tonya when I 
   met her. I was equally impressed by Linda. She’s a very 
   friendly and outgoing woman. And quite talented. She’s a 
   wonderfully talented singer in her own right. One needs only 
   to hear some of their songs (Linda and Greg Lewis), which we    
   plan on making a few partial demos available on the Tonya 
   Harding Website within a few weeks.

   Hope that helps.

   Roy Edwards
   Editor, Tonya Harding Website


For the past few weeks the sports community has been reeling in 
the wake of allegations by a top member of the International 
Olympic Committee that bribery and corruption are common tools in 
the battle by cities vying for the right to host the Olympics, 
something that will come as no surprise to regular readers of 
"The Portlandian". Now further disgusting revelations are 
emerging, namely that Salt Lake City bid committee credit cards 
were used to pay for the services of prostitutes for IOC 
delegation members.

"The thought is not only disturbing but repulsive", said Michael 
Leavitt, State Governor of Utah. "It would be enormously 
disheartening if it were true".

The claims, whilst shocking, are regrettably not the first of 
their kind about the IOC. Berlin's 2000 bid was scuttled when it 
was discovered their bid committee had kept files on IOC 
delegates they felt were open to bribes, including their sexual 
proclivities. A young woman assigned to be a guide to IOC members 
in Falun, Sweden in 1986 claimed she was asked for sexual favors 
by members of the delegation. That same year, a member of the 
Anchorage, Alaska, games organizing committee was told by an IOC 
member he could rig the results if Anchorage came up with the 
cash. The English newspaper "The Guardian" also reported that it 
was well known in IOC circles that another member had sought a 
40,000 pound bribe in exchange for their vote. And both the 
Melbourne and Toronto bid committees claim they have strong 
evidence of bribes being involved in the selection of Atlanta for 
the 1996 games.

Last Friday, two top members or the SLC Organizing Committee 
resigned as the Olympic corruption scandal continued to spin out 
of control. Games bidders are alleged to have paid for tuitions, 
travel, housing, lavish gifts and even real estate for IOC 
members. IOC head Juan Antonio Samaranch has admitted that at 
least 13 IOC members may be involved, and if he'll admit to that 
many, then we wonder what the real number is - probably at least 
twice that (although, regrettably, there is as yet no evidence 
that a certain Speedskater is involved).


Nor does the impropriety stop there - new evidence suggests that 
even Samaranch himself may be tainted by bribes. A recent AP 
report discloses that two firearms, a rifle and a shotgun, were 
delivered to Samaranch in May 1995 by the Swiss representative of 
the Browning arms company on the request of the Salt Lake City 
bid committee - a mere month before it was awarded the Games. The 
bill for the weapons, valued at approximately $1000 (well over 
the $150 limit for gifts to IOC members in force at the time), 
was sent to the SLC bid committee. Browning has also revealed it 
sold $10,000 worth of guns to the SLC bid committee at wholesale 
prices, which suggests that either the committee has given guns 
as gifts to other IOC members - or they're hoping to start a 
small war.

Exactly what has happened to the guns, no-one at either Browning 
or IOC headquarters appears to know. There is some suggestion 
that they could have been sent to the IOC Olympic museum in 
Lausanne, a customary repository for gifts to Samaranch - though 
exactly what relevance a shotgun has to the Olympics is hard to 
explain. However, those who are hoping that "Dirty Sammy" will 
use these new weapons to clean the slime out of the Olympic 
movement are likely to be disappointed based on his past 
performances. Similar allegations were widely covered in the 1992 
book "The Lords of The Rings" and its companion TV documentary 
(which were mentioned in two issues of "The Portlandian" early 
last year), but Samaranch's only response was to try to get the 
authors thrown in jail using Switzerland's bizarre libel laws. We 
suspect any action that is taken by him this time will be a 
superficial response, with a few of the more greedy and stupid 
being expelled from the IOC, and then it'll be back to business 
as usual, a business of greed that Samaranch himself has largely 
been responsible for introducing into the Olympic movement. 

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Olympic movement 
which so vigorously castigated Tonya for her alleged "bad 
sportsmanship" in suing to get on the U.S. Olympic team is itself 
riddled with a culture of corruption and sleaze. Those who love 
the Olympics and what it once stood for need to exert pressure to 
ensure that real reform occurs in the IOC, not just a few token 
sacrifices. A proper cleanout must be demanded, starting with the 
departure of the crooked, senile old Francoist who runs the show.


Recently it has been revealed that New Zealand rugby football 
player Jonah Lomu turned down the offer of a role in a James Bond 
film. Lomu, who was to have played the role of a bodyguard to a 
"bond girl" in the upcomong film "The World Is Not Enough", 
declined the offer because it clashed with his rugby commitments.

Which of course, leaves one important question: namely, do the 
Bond producers have the phone number of a certain, er, 
"gravitationally challenged" Portland resident...?


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