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

June 21, 2009 Edition - 
(C) 2009 Portland Ice Skating Society

Welcome to the latest edition of the Portlandian, the Internet's 
leading source of Tonya news.

The past few months have been something of a mixed bag for Tonya. 
Tonya has made several high-profile media appearances since our 
last issue, and has also suffered a major personal loss.


Tonya was back in the boxing ring in June, but fortunately this 
time the sparring was only verbal. She was participating in an 
event at Bally's Casino in Atlantic City entitled "Smokin' Joe 
Frazier's Sportzbox", an innovative concept in entertainment that 
is billed by its creators as "part Hollywood Squares, part Dean 
Martin roast, part Family Feud".

The three-day event featured a whole galaxy of stars from the 
worlds of sports & entertainment, including Frazier and his son 
Marvis, Joe Piscopo, Vincent "Big Pussy" Pastore, Gianni Russo, 
Gerry Cooney, Vinny "The Pazmanian Devil" Paz, Bobby Rydell, Dan 
Grimaldi, Bill Bergey, Garo Yepremian, Maureen Shea, Chika 
Nakamura, Cathy Rocco, Chuck Wepner, Arthur Nascarella and TV 
stars Bill Boggs and Gus Johnson (CBS Sports).

Things kicked off on Friday June 12, with the Ribbon Cutting & 
Red Carpet Parade along the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk and 
into the Red Carpet Celebrity Party to benefit Gilda's Club, a 
cancer charity founded by Gene Wilder in memory of his late wife 
Gilda Radner. Here's a nice photo of Tonya at the red carpet 

Saturday saw the weekend's "Main Event", the "Champs & Stars 
Show", a night of hilarity and highlights where celebrity sports 
and entertainment stars faced off on a "boxing ring" style stage 
in a faux game show, answering questions on the "facts, fiction, 
fanfare and foibles from the rich history of the American Sports 
and Entertainment industries", while multimedia clips were 
played as well on 4 big screens. Al Bernstein (Showtime/IBN), 
Dave Bontempo (ESPN) and comedian Jeff Pirrami refereed the 
event. Photos can be seen below - Tonya is about half way down:

The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with Allan Doyle, PGA Senior 
Tour Champion, hosting a celebrity Golf Tournament at Blue Heron 

We have received word that the organizers were very impressed 
with Tonya. One of them said that "It was an absolute pleasure 
working with Tonya. She was a pro and everyone commented on how 
much they enjoyed having her participation. We look forward to 
the next opportunity... Really it was GREAT to have Tonya there."

More details can be found at:

And if you think some of the guys in the photos look like 
gangsters, there's a reason: they're cast members of "The 
Sopranos". But perhaps that's appropriate, because with ticket 
prices starting at only $100, this was definitely a case of "an 
offer you can't refuse" if you're a Tonyaphile in the Atlantic 
City area!


Linda Lewis has now sent us two photos of Tonya in Douglas, one 
of her catching the catfish, and another of her meeting local 
underprivileged kids:

And here's another photo of Tonya, on roller skates:

Tonya was also filmed by TV crews for two shows, and clips from 
these appearances are now starting to show up on-line. First up 
is footage of Tonya catfishing during her trip to Georgia on 
Fox's "Strollin' With Nolan" show:

Great to see how excited she gets when she sees the size of her 

And here's the complete interview from HBO's "Real Sports with 
Bryant Gumbel" which aired Feb 17th. Bernard Goldberg is the 
interviewer. This one features an uncensored version of Tonya 
catching the catfish. Then Tonya rips into President Obama for 
bringing her name up on the campaign trail when there are so many 
more important things he should be dealing with: (part 1) (part 2)

Overall, it seems to be remarkably positive and even-handed, 
speaking of Tonya's charity work, and showing footage of her 
roller skating with kids at a rink in Douglas. It looks as if at 
least part of the HBO interview was also shown on "The Insider" 
on Feb 20th:

We've also been told that Tonya has received considerable e-mail 
from fans supporting her as a result of this interview!


Tonya was also on the March 12 edition of Inside Edition. 
Although no video of the appearance appears to be available on-
line, this article has a good summary:

Tonya is shown coaching a ten year old girl who wasn't even born 
when the 1994 Incident occurred, and also performs several jumps 
& spins for the cameras. She also expresses her irritation at the 
fact that people continue to believe she was involved in the 
Kerrigan attack, such as was demonstrated by the Obama comment.


Without doubt the biggest of Tonya's media appearances since our 
last issue has been her guest spot on the Oprah Winfrey Show. As 
we all know, Oprah is one of the biggest U.S. talk shows, so it 
is a major coup for Tonya to be appearing (heck, even Sarah Palin 
hasn't been on Oprah, and she was running for Vice President). 
The interview, which aired April 23rd, featured new footage of 
Tonya skating. The complete show is available on YouTube: (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)

The theme of the episode was largely a rehash of various 90's 
scandals (Tonya, Lorena Bobbitt etc), in the "whatever happened 
to..." vein. This was kind of a pity as we were hoping for 
something that was more looking toward the future rather than a 
recycling of the past.

Nevertheless, the interview went well; Oprah seemed sympathetic 
to Tonya, and she generally handled Oprah's questions okay. We 
also got to see Tonya skate at her local rink, Mountain View Ice 
Arena in Vancouver WA, where she performed a couple of jumps. 
Tonya also seems to be continuing to lose weight and looks better 
than she has in years.

The Oprah site has a summary with photos, and also a plug for 
Tonya's book:


Also on the same photos page are some pictures of members of 
Eventyrplassen Vannførelaget, a Norwegian community service group 
that adopted Tonya as their mascot, modeling their new t-shirts. 
Back in November, we mentioned that Tor Weibye of Vannførelaget 
had written to tell us of a design given to them by Norwegian-
American Sarah Rosenbaum, a famous designer who was responsible 
for the pictograms that were used to symbolize the various sports 
at Lillehammer.

Tor tells us that Sarah made an additional design, only used on 
some T-shirts she gave away to her friends from the US that came 
to Norway to watch the figure-skating competition. And in the 
years after she forgot the whole thing until last summer when she 
gave the design to Vannførelaget due to their admiration of Tonya 
and her skating.

Tor says that all the members are thrilled by the new shirt and 
arranged this group photo.

The slogan on top of the design says: "A society free of ice is a 
cold society". 


This long-awaited documentary about the making of the Tonya-Nancy 
opera has now been released. You can view a trailer at:

Running time is 34 minutes. It can be purchased for $19:99 from 
createspaces ( or Amazon.


This video features a compilation of women performing Triple 
Axels. All of them appear to be there - including Tiffany Chin 
doing one in practice sometime in the early 80's, through to 
Kimmie, Midori, Mao Asada, and of course, Tonya (including some 
practice jumps). All set to a soundtrack of a work by the 
infamous Phil Spector, "You Baby" by the Ronettes:

Definitely worth a look.


There hasn't been an awful lot of Tonya news since her Oprah 
appearance, so here's some more Tonya goodness from TruTV's 
World's Dumbest series: - Tonya & Todd Bridges 
discuss sex, violence & politics; - cheerleader gets 
trampled by football team; - morons try to 
destroy evidence by tossing bags of cocaine out the window of 
their SUV while being chased by police; - magic show goes 
disastrously wrong during half time at the 1987 Orange Bowl.


A lengthy item (around 45 minutes) that Tonya did for Swedish TV
five years ago has surfaced on YouTube. Tonya does some sparring, 
some skating, and helps the interviewers make hamburgers. 
Although it starts off in Swedish, the vast bulk of it is in 
English with Swedish subtitles:

High Chaparall - Pt 1:
High Chaparall - Pt 2:
High Chaparall - Pt 3:
High Chaparall - Pt 4:
High Chaparall - Pt 5:

More details on the series can be found here:

Sounds like one of those "let's laugh at how weird Americans are" 
type things, though the Tonya stuff seems largely positive, with 
Tonya being allowed to tell her side of the story. It's a pity 
that it wasn't shown on U.S. TV.


April was a month that saw two major events in Tonya's life, one 
positive, the other negative. The positive one was the Oprah 
invitation. The negative one was the tragic and unexpected loss 
of her father. Both are mentioned in this article by Kerry 

Linda Lewis, Tonya's godmother says:

    Tonya's beloved father, Al Harding, passed away on April 1st, 
    at the age of 76. Tonya is devastated by this great loss in 
    her life. She will continue to go forward in her life and do 
    the things that would make her dad proud. Al will be missed 
    greatly by all those who knew him. He loved his daughter and 
    always wanted what was best for her. There will be a private 
    ceremony for Al in the near future. If you would like to send 
    condolences to her, you can mail them to me, and I will 
    forward them on to her.

   Al will be missed greatly by all those who knew him. He loved 
   his daughter and always wanted what was best for her.

   Thank you,
   Tonya Harding
   c/o Linda Lewis 
   PO Box 736
   Manor, Texas 78653

As we all know, Tonya was very close to her father, so his 
passing will be something that is very hard for her to bear. 
Messages of condolence can be sent by physical mail to the above 
address, or by e-mail to Linda at who will arrange 
for them to go to Tonya.

Tonya has sent us some photos of a ceremony held last month in 
memory of her father:

The ceremony featured some members of the local branch of the 
American Legion, who performed a 21-gun salute for Al, who was a 
Korean War veteran.


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