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

(C) 1999 Portland Ice Skating Society


With the technical program of the ESPN Pro event at Huntington 
now over, Tonya is in fourth place, and we are informed is close 
behind and well placed for a possible win. Currently the placings 
in the ladies contest are Surya Bonaly (the only one of the women 
not to fall), Rory Burghart (replacing Pasha Grishuk, who 
withdrew two days ago due to injury), Tonia Kwiatkowski, Tonya 
and Liz Manley.

Dressed in a purple and turquoise costume, Tonya was the last 
skater to take the ice. Although falling on the first and final 
jumps of her David Sanborn/ZZ Top medley, Tonya scored a 9.6 
which means that it's very close and Tonya could still 
potentially take the ladies title.

Perhaps more important has been the positive reception Tonya has 
received from the crowd and the other skaters. Fans displayed a 
sign saying "Good luck Tonya", while a little girl yelled "we 
love you Tonya!" as Tonya came out. "I had a great time" said 
Tonya afterwards, who had tears in her eyes when she took to the 
ice. In addition, at a press conference later Tonya received many 
hugs and handshakes from other skaters. Irrespective of the final 
placings, this competition will be a victory for Tonya in that 
finally marks the end of her years in the wilderness and her 
return to the skating mainstream. "She was a friend of mine back 
then", said Surya Bonaly, "and I'm so glad she's back skating 
with us."

There are many people who must be thanked for their support of 
Tonya, support that has lead to this triumph. High on the list 
must be Tonya's Godparents, Greg and Linda Lewis, who have 
assisted Tonya through her turbulent life over the past five 
years. But without a doubt the one person that must be credited 
with this moment is Michael Rosenberg, Tonya's advisor and long 
time defender whose courage and vision has led him to support 
Tonya where others in the skating establishment have turned their 
backs. Since the beginning of this year, Michael has worked 
ceaselessly to get Tonya back on the ice, a move that is 
hopefully now about to pay off for Tonyaphiles the world over.

Tonya's return raises many questions, such as, will she win? Will 
this now lead to more skating offers? Will anyone be holding 
up signs saying "Tonya 3:16" or "Jim Maxey Is A Wanker" during 
the artistic program? Stay tuned to find out! Tonya is BACK!!


With little more than 24 hours to go, Pasha Grishuk pulled out of 
the ESPN event in Huntington where she was to make her singles 
debut. The explanation, namely an injury sustained last week, has 
been viewed by many in the skating community as about as credible 
as the Roswell alien autopsy film. Perhaps Pasha didn't want to 
share the limelight with Tonya. Or maybe she's realized that 
Tonya was going to kick her butt? In any case, she's being 
replaced by Rory Burghart.


With Tonya's comeback has come a spate of TV interviews: 
Yesterday saw the airing of part one of a two-part "Entertainment 
Tonight" feature on Tonya, part two of which will air this 
evening. This second part focuses on the dark days after the 
Kerrigan episode. Greg Lewis informs us that ET did quite a long, 
positive interview with Tonya.

"Good Morning America" will also feature Tonya this morning. 
Neither the GMA nor ET web sites have any further details. You 
should check your local TV listings for channels and broadcast 


Several new articles about Tonya have also appeared in recent 


The first, by Philip Hersh, is actually a bit of a letdown as it 
contains little new, being largely a rehash of the Kerrigan 
incident and Tonya's various adventures since (which we've all 
heard). It does, however, mention that in early 1998 Tonya was so 
broke she couldn't watch the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano 
because she couldn't afford a cable TV connection.

The second, from the Associated Press, is a bit more meaty, with 
the event promoter saying that a third of the tickets have 
already sold and that he expects it to be completely sold out by 
the night. Rosenberg says he is more concerned about the TV 
audience, as he acknowledges that WV isn't skating territory. 
It's also revealed that he tried to get Tonya jobs back in 
February, but nobody took the bait. Tonya also says that she now 
sometimes gets applause when she practices, a turnaround from 

Also worth a look are articles from :

- The New York Times, announcing Tonya's comeback,

- Blades on Ice also has a short update on Tonya:

- And most recently, Katy Muldoon in Oregonian:

  and John Raby of the Associated Press (with two articles):


Last week, a short item on Tonya appeared on the Country Music TV 
channel's show "Hit Trip". Charlie Main (who stayed up to 2am to 
check it out - boy, is this guy a staunch Tonyaphile!) describes 
it thus:

  "Anyway, it was a one hour show featuring two people traveling 
  around Portland & visiting with some of the locals. Their 
  interviews and discussions were interspersed with some music 
  videos. Tonya's portion ran for about 15 minutes, including the 
  inserted music videos. The segment took place in the ice arena 
  where Tonya was teaching her kids. There was one thing that 
  really stood out with this interview in that not once was 
  anything ever mentioned about Nancy Kerrigan, Jeff G., etc. It 
  was just about what is happening now which was refreshing."

Hopefully it may be repeated some time soon at a more godly hour, 
so if you've got access to this channel, it may pay to keep an 
eye on it.


A bit over a week ago, Tonya took part in a live Internet chat 
session organized by Oregonlive. The transcript of the chat and 
the audio of the chat session can be accessed from their Tonya 
page at:

The chat part was not really successful, with alot of technical 
difficulties meaning that many people couldn't get in or send 
questions, but the interview itself went quite well, with Tonya 
sounding very relaxed and in a positive mood. You'll need 
Realaudio software (which can be downloaded free from to listen to it and it goes for about 45 

Tonya went into a bit more detail about her programs: the 
technical program will be skated to two pieces of music, one by 
David Sanborn and ending with "Sleeping Bag" by ZZ Top. The 
artistic program will consist of a guitar track, "Stockholm" by 
Avenue Blue, and finish with "Fired Up" by a group named Funky 
Green Dogs. Tonya has been working on this last routine for only 
a month and a half. When asked how she chooses her music, Tonya 
replied that she goes for graceful, dramatic stuff to start with 
and then prefers to move to more upbeat, fun material to finish 
off with so she doesn't have to concentrate so hard.

Tonya has been practising Monday to Friday for an hour or two 
each day. But don't expect to see the triple Axel any time soon, 
as Tonya says that although she can still do it, she "doesn't 
need it any more."

As for the future, Tonya says she doesn't think beyond this 
contest. "If I win, great, but if I lose, it's no big deal". Her 
main concern was having fun and skating for the fans. Long term,
Tonya sees her future as mainly in teaching, with occasional 
appearances and interviews. One thing she will always do is 
skate, saying that she'll probably still be skating when she's 70 
years old. When asked what she told her students about her past, 
she said that most didn't ask, and that the parents are really 
supportive and just want the best teacher for their kids. Indeed, 
Tonya explained how two of her students were on the verge of 
giving up skating before they came to her, and now their parents 
say they can't get them off the ice. The move to the Lloyd Center 
was partly in order to leave the past behind, plus being closer 
to her new home.

The interview also covered whether Tonya was prepared for 
negative reaction. She believes that people's attitudes towards 
her have improved markedly in the past twelve months, and as far 
as the Portland media are concerned there's only one local radio 
station that "plays the jam", as she puts it (and I think we can 
guess which one that is).

Tonya felt that her community service had been good for her, 
especially helping the old people. The knowledge that these 
people were relying upon her for their food was a very important 
responsibility, she said, and she would sometimes bring in videos 
and sing songs for them.


The same Blades on Ice page we linked to above also contains 
another piece of news, namely that another well-known skater has 
recently entered the recording studio. Following hard on the 
heels of her critically-panned attempt at singing "Take Me Out To 
The Ball Game" at a recent baseball match, Nancy Kerrigan has 
recorded a song, "Shining Through", for a forthcoming compilation 
album of skating-related music. Hey, at least she didn't have to 
put up with getting beaned with plastic Coke bottles like Tonya 
and the Golden Blades. The good news: although Nancy said it was 
fun, she doesn't plan to give up her day job.

And no, in case you're wondering, it's not a 12 inch club mix...


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