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The Internet's premiere source of HARDing COPY

February 24, 1997 Edition - RENO SPECIAL ISSUE 
(C) 1997 Portland Ice Skating Society

This issue of "The Portlandian" marks two milestones; Firstly, 
Tonya's pro debut in Reno Nevada, and secondly, this is the 
first time we have posted this to 
We don't usually publish this to rssif, partly because we might 
get flamed by some of the Tonya-hating squares who hang out on 
that group, and partly because we are concerned that by posting 
this to a "real" newsgroup we might undermine our hip, cult, 
underground image. However, we have decided to make an exception 
in this case in view of the importance of Tonya's Reno 
exhibition, and take the risk.


As we all know, Tonya's pro debut in Reno occurred on Saturday, 
and went off without a hitch, although is was slightly 
disappointing that she did not attempt a triple axel. The 
reaction from the sellout crowd was overwhelmingly positive, 
with the exception of some wanker who threw a couple of 
retractable police batons onto the ice at the end of Tonya's 
performance, and who was swiftly removed by security. Also 
ejected were a couple of idiots who attempted to unfurl a banner 
reading "Jeff Gillooly loves Boy George" - and rightly so too. 
As a long standing Boy George fan I find the suggestion 
extremely insulting and I hope he sues.

Unlike a certain other Internet skating 'zine (which purports to 
emanate from Australia but actually comes from Sacramento), we 
actually do have REAL people covering REAL events. "The 
Portlandian's" own correspondent in Reno, Joseph Sciambra, 
describes the scene:

"On the evening of February 22, 1997, I had the privilege of 
seeing Tonya Harding skate in her first major public performance 
since the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. I arrived at the Reno 
Convention Center at about 6:30 p.m. The 4,000 seat arena 
quickly filled up as the IHL Reno Renegades Hockey team 
warmed-up. Though I am unashamedly partial to my local NHL team 
the San Jose Sharks, the Renegades need a lot of practice. As I 
waited for my favorite skater to begin her performance I talked 
with some of the other attendees. Most of the audience consisted 
of Reno locals. One woman I talked to said, "I was here for 
their last game and no one was here." I then talked to a 
Renegades official who told me that the most tickets they ever 
sold for one game was about 2,100. For Tonya's special 
performance, they had their first sell out. 

"After the hockey team left the ice, the Zamboni made its way 
around the rink. At about 10 minutes to 7:00, Tonya appeared on 
the ice for a short warm-up. She practiced her double axel, her 
triple salchow, and some spins. Though most of the audience was 
rooting for her, there was a small, but vocal group of about 20 
beer-bellied losers who booed Tonya, (these guys couldn't get a 
date at the Mustang Ranch). Tonya then stepped off the rink and 
headed for the doors to the arena. As she was leaving, she took 
the time to shake my hand as I wished her well. About 10 minutes 
later Tonya reappeared for her performance.  She wore a simple, 
but elegant black skating dress with a sequin top. She began 
with a combination of spins to Robert Miles' excellent 
instrumental piece "Children." She then did a perfect double 
axel, and later an awesome triple salchow. As always her spins 
were fast and tight. Her jumps have lost none of their height or 
speed. In between her jumps and spins she performed some very 
sexy modern dance moves that had the whole audience whistling. 
If Tonya is reinstated she could easily add a triple lutz 
combination to this routine and use it as her short program at 
the 1998 Olympics. 

"As she left the ice, some of the audience threw flowers for 
Tonya, as other waited just by the rink to present her with more 
bouquets and congratulations. As she stepped off the ice, the 
media mobbed Tonya and followed her off the ice. Although this 
was the first time I have ever seen Tonya in person, I think she 
has never looked physically better. Her hair was a long 
strawberry blond, pulled back in a ponytail. Her make-up was 
just right, and her costume was sexy, but tasteful. Though some 
have mocked Tonya for sometimes being chunky, they can make no 
such claims now. She is solid muscle. I think Tonya proved to 
the world that she can still draw a crowd. For a 3 minute 
glimpse of Tonya, people were willing to pay for tickets that 
ranged from about $10.00 to $16.00. Tonya also proved that she 
is still the best female figure skater in the U.S. No one can 
match her speed across the ice, the technique of her jumps, or 
the quality of her spins. Welcome back Tonya!"

And to think some people were saying that no one would want to 
see her skate again!


Following on from our report last week about Jim Maxey's Tonya 
site in Portland, there is now a second Tonya site up and 
running. The URL for this second site is:

and is run by Dave House, who is located in Texas. Like Maxey's 
site, it's still in a fairly rudimentary stae at present, but 
also has potential. Dave says he is working on a biography of 
Tonya. We ask that you give him your support and encouragement.
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