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

October 6, 2001 Edition
(C) 2001 Portland Ice Skating Society

It's been three months since our last issue. Three months seems 
like a short time, but the world has changed quite alot since the 
last Portlandian came out.

With this in mind, Tonya has issued the following message to her 
fans in this time of world crisis:

I'm sure I speak for all our subscribers when I convey my deepest 
sympathies to anyone reading this who has been affected by the 
tragedies in New York and Washington. As the bulk of our 
subscribers are located in the United States, this is clearly an 
incident that will affect alot of Tonyaphiles quite hard. Tonya 
and Linda would like you to know that you are in their prayers.


We have recently received word that Tonya has just finished 
taping an appearance on an episode of this game show. For those 
of you who haven't seen it, the format, which originated in 
Britain on BBC2 last year, is basically the "Survivor" formula 
applied to a traditional quiz show with members of competing 
teams voting off the "weakest link" (i.e. least useful team 
member). At this stage the date on which it will air is not 
known, probably some time this month, but we will try to let you 
know in advance. In the meantime, you can keep a beady eye on the 
show's official web site at:


On June 29th, Tonya made a personal appearance at a minor league 
baseball game in Florida. The occasion, organized by the 
Jacksonville Suns team, went very well, with over 6700 people 
attending, the 7th largest crowd of the team's 41 home games this 
season. Tonya spent an hour and a half signing many of the 2000 
miniature baseball bats that were given away to fans by a local 
TV station as a promotion, autographing each in gold pen and 
punctuating her signature with her trade mark smiley face. Then 
she threw out the game's first pitch and spent the first inning 
in the dugout chatting with Suns players.

Tonya also appeared on a couple of local radio stations while in 
town: Rock 105 FM's "Lex and Terry" morning zoo and another 
unnamed national radio program in the afternoon. The main topic 
of conversation on the Rock 105 show was the now discredited 
topless Vegas revue rumor. Tonya also took several calls, 
including some from people wanting advice on trucks!

The event got good media coverage with the local paper (the 
Florida Times-Union) running several articles. Regrettably, there 
were also the usual pious letters from readers questioning 
whether Tonya was a suitable role model to be invited to such an 
event, but overall it was a fun and successful appearance for 
Tonya. A couple of the minibats have already gone on eBay for 
around $60 each!

1: **Mark Woods** You want fun? The ballpark is place to be 

2: **Baseball** Tonya Harding coming to Wolfson Park tonight 

3: **Baseball** Welcoming Tonya Harding 06/30/01

4: **Mark Woods** Signing bats a cruel irony for Harding 07/01/01

5: Letters from readers 07/03/01

6: Letters from readers 07/04/01


July 26th saw Tonya making another appearance, this time at a gay 
nightclub in New York's Chelsea district where she judged a lip 
syncing contest for a bunch of transvestites! Kim White of the 
"Blades of Gold" site was at the event and reports that Tonya was 
given a warm reception by the club patrons, many of whom waited 
hours to see her. Two guys who came especially to see Tonya had 
once skated with her. Dozens lined up for pictures with Tonya, 
and again the local media gave her a good write up:

Many patrons bought CD's and photographs, part of the proceeds of 
which will be donated to charity (Tonya, by the way, was not paid 
for this appearance). Tonya was on stage for about 10 minutes, 
with the highlight being when the host asked her about her "bad 
girl" reputation and Tonya poutily replied, "Well ... everybody 
has to be a bad girl once in awhile!" to a storm of approval from 
the crowd!


Tonya made her third appearance on CNN's Larry King Live briefly 
in late August, discussing the hassles the media gave her, in the 
context of the Gary Condit case (anybody remember him now)? Tonya 
was on for about five minutes doing a remote from Portland, and 
was mainly just recounting her bad experiences with the media in 
'94. She avoided giving any opinion on the Condit business, 
saying she hadn't been following the story, and in any case all 
she would have to go on were media reports and of course, who can 
trust the media?

There's a transcript at:

The main item of interest is that at one point Tonya implies that 
her relationship with her mother has improved somewhat, but 
unfortunately Larry didn't explore that further.

There's another one of her June 6 2000 appearance as well:


Recently the "Blades of Gold" site has uploaded some new photos 
of Tonya taken by Charlie Covell. They can be found in galleries 
8 and 9.


Tonya on a Wheaties box? It could have happened! David House has 
the pictures on his site to prove it:

This item, which showed up on eBay recently, was a gift to Tonya 
by the General Mills cereal company and was one of only five 
prototypes ever made (apparently to link in with their "Breakfast 
of Champions" slogan). The photo shows Tonya from her 1991 
Nationals victory where she became one of only two women to 
perform the triple Axel jump, a distinction she still holds to 
this day.

This isn't the only food-related Tonya item to show up on eBay 
either: a few months ago we spotted this "Tonya hot sauce and 
hubcap holster" there as well:

According to the seller's blurb, the hot sauce was marketed at 
one stage by an Oregon company, while the "holster" hung in a bar 
in Oregon for nine months and is made from shower curtain vinyl.


Lots of odds & ends in Joe's message this issue, including yet 
another example of how Portland skating officials in cahoots with 
a prominent insurance company conspired to sabotage an 
opportunity for Tonya:

26 December 1999

Terry Hall, Head
Special Duties Section
Portland Ice Skating Society
New Zealand

Hello, Terry!

I know what you want from me are anecdotes involving Tonya, not a 
lot of my philosophy; so I'll try and remember some specific 

Wasn't that special?  Tonya's love for animals knew no bounds.  
Once, when returning home with Gillooly, Tonya noticed a calf 
lying on its side in an adjacent pasture.  She got out of the 
truck, climbed through the fence and went to its side.  She 
perceived that it was very sick; so she insisted Gillooly go to 
their nearby house, telephone a veterinarian and fetch blankets.  
She wrapped the calf in the blankets.  The veterinarian finally 
arrived; and he stated the calf would need intravenous feeding 
and other medical aid in order to survive.  By that time, the 
owners of the agricultural property had arrived on the scene.

Tonya pleaded with them to help save the calf, but they refused 
to authorize the expenditure.  The farmer's young son said:  
"It's only a useless calf."  Tonya was led away in tears, still 
pleading with the farmer to save the animal's life.  Her pleas 
fell on deaf ears.

Minutiae redux:  when Tonya and I would go out for breakfast 
she'd always order bacon, eggs, orange juice and coffee -- and 
she's always stipulate that she wanted her bacon "limp."  At 
rinkside, Tonya would put so much cream and sugar in her coffee 
that Maggie Morris used to refer to it as "Tonya's milkshakes."  
I noticed that when at home, Tonya seldom ate more than small 
salads which she would prepare herself.

By the way, when I first met Tonya she had already left Gillooly 
and was living with a young woman about her own age.  They had 
met at some event and took a liking to one another. (I wish I 
could remember her name!)  Anyway, Tonya and she wanted to work 
together on skating-related matters.  One of these was a clinic 
Tonya and she would conduct at the ice-skating facility in 
Eugene, Oregon (this state's second-largest city and the home of 
my alma mater). That ice-skating club had already agreed to the 
clinic.  There would be a $50 charge for each person attending 
the clinic, which was a hell of a bargain considering the level 
of expertise Tonya would be providing! Her friend was experienced 
in competitive jazz-dancing, so Tonya would teach skating 
techniques while her friend taught dancing techniques.

This happened during the spring of '93; and everything was going 
as planned when, at the last moment, the Eugene Ice Skating Club 
cancelled the clinic.  No satisfactory reason was ever given.  
Tonya and her friend were devastated by this turn of events, 
which surely had roots in the USFSA's anti-Tonya campaign.  This 
friend and roommate of Tonya's was an attractive and personable 
young woman; and she wanted to help Tonya organize her time.  She 
became the keeper of Tonya's schedule; and she extended me every 
consideration and courtesy.  It is unfortunate that their lives 
were not more compatible and that Gillooly stepped up his dirty 
tricks, for Tonya surely would have benefitted from her 
organizing skills and her perceptive judgment regarding who was a 
real friend of Tonya's and who wasn't -- who should get some of 
Tonya's time and who shouldn't, et cetera.

They were, however, compatible in many ways:  they were both 
dynamic and energetic people; and they seemed to have genuine 
respect for each other's talents.  They had a lot of fun and 
laughs together and were true buddies.  But, as happened in other 
filial relationships, Tonya's inability to maintain friendly 
relationships (not so much a conscious effort but rather a lack 
of the necessary skills) manifested itself -- not without 
Gillooly's "help," of course.

I'm sorry for all these unpleasant anecdotes, but I've been 
holding off on relating them.  But, what's the point?  You 
obviously care about Tonya and would not publish anything of a 
private nature.  I believe those of us trying to help Tonya via 
media of communication must, if possible, be armed with as much 
factual information as possible.  That way, we can forsee danger 
zones or earlier recognize hidden agendas being pushed by 

Anyway, here's the last unpleasant anecdote I can recall today; 
and it doesn't in and of itself denigrate Tonya in spite of the 
fact that it was an extremely unfortunate development.  At the 
Pacific Northwest Figure Skating championships in '93 (the "death 
threat" tournament), there was to have been a reception for Tonya 
sponsored by the insurance company that was one of the 
tournament's major sponsors (the John Hancock Life Insurance 
Company of Boston in the State of Massachusetts).

This was a wonderful development, as it was to be a formal 
reception replete with big shots and folks with lots of money.  
Well, shortly before the tournament began Tonya was asked to meet 
with the local John Hancock representative "to iron out some 
details."  Oddly, she was asked to come alone. She recognized the 
red flag waving in her brain at this "come by yourself" request.  
She went, but in the company of Gillooly. Upon arriving at the 
insurance-company's Portland offices, she was greeted by several 
people:  one of them was an influential local figure-skating 
leader (whose name I cannot recall).  Upon completion of friendly 
greetings and small talk, this skater-boss woman began to lecture 
Tonya about her behavior and stated that she would have to change 
her ways, et cetera.  This was, I recall, in reaction to the 
Julie (J. E.) Vader column in "The Oregonian" which had painted a 
picture of Tonya as a party girl with loose morals who would be a 
bad influence on young people, et cetera.

While the others attending this ambush of a meeting sat back in 
silence, the woman went on about all manner of supposed incidents 
involving Tonya.  Finally, having heard enough and being 
mystified as to the reasoning behind this meeting which she was 
to have attended alone, Tonya argued back in attempts to refute 
this woman's allegations of inappropriate conduct, et cetera.  
Tonya then excused herself and left the meeting, as would have 
anyone thus waylaid by unethical behavior.

A few days later, it was announced that the reception for Tonya 
had been cancelled!  When I looked into this matter, I learned 
that the John Hancock representative and the skate-boss lady were 
spreading the defamation that Tonya had arrived at the meeting 
drunk and was abusive of those who met with her.  The insurance-
company man reportedly asserted that "We just can't take that 
chance" of Tonya's embarrassing the company by inappropriate 
behavior at the planned reception.  Others at the meeting said 
that wasn't so and supported the above, pro-Tonya, version of 
events.  It is my belief that the USFSA, the local skating lobby 
and influential people in New England (Kerrigan's territory) 
persuaded John Hancock big shots in Boston to cancel the 
reception and so not afford Tonya that avenue of validation.  The 
"meeting" would be made into a vehicle for rationalizing the 

Well, that's all for now.  Keep in touch.  Best wishes and keep 
up the good work!

See ya!





PortIce -
David House -
Charlie Main -
Puppetboy -
Valerie Smith -
Swan Lake -
Blades of Gold -
Pegasus Times -
Back to Portlandian index
Back to PortIce Home Page

This page hosted by Get your own Free Home Page