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

August 11, 2012 Edition - OLYMPIC SPECIAL
(C) 2012 Portland Ice Skating Society


Welcome to the first edition of The Portlandian for 2012. As 
you've probably guessed, Tonya hasn't been up to much lately, 
being now heavily occupied with domestic matters, but she did 
appear back in May on Inside Edition, which featured the first 
public appearance of her son Gordon, who is named after her 
father Al's middle name. Linda Lewis has also told us that Tonya 
has now moved to an undisclosed location in central Oregon, so 
she is back in her home state again!

Unfortunately there does not appear to be any sign of any video 
of the interview, which was spread over three episodes, surfacing 
on line, but there are several articles that summarize the 
contents, along with a couple of photos:

Diane McInerney of Inside Edition interviewed Tonya in which she 
talks of the difficulties of becoming a mother for the first time 
at age 40. Tonya says that her first reaction when learning of 
her pregnancy was one of surprise, as she'd been led to believe 
that with all her various medical problems over the years that 
children were off the menu: "Oh my God, my boobs hurt! My whole 
life, I always wanted to have children and through medications, 
and broken tailbones, and water cysts, and blood cysts, and as a 
female and not being able to have a child was what I was told,".

"He's the most wonderful thing in the world", said Tonya, "I 
couldn't imagine my world without him". On the connection with 
her father, Tonya said "My son has my dad's head. I was daddy's 
little girl. I loved my dad with all my heart and I miss him so 

Tonya also revealed that while as she's very protective of him 
she doesn't want him to grow up to be a "wussy boy". She's also 
in no rush for him to start following in his mother's tracings 
and take up ice skating: "Skating is so political and I really 
don't want my son wearing tights, okay?" she said laughing. On 
the topic of when to approach the subject of "the incident" with 
her son, Tonya says: "When he comes to ask or when he's old 
enough to know, he will know." McInerney asked, "Do you dread 
that day?", to which Tonya replied, "No. Why should I?"

The interview also spoke with Tonya's husband Joe Price, an air 
conditioning installer whom Tonya first met when he was singing 
"Run Around Sue" at a karaoke bar. Tonya says it was love at 
first sight. At first Joe didn't recognize Tonya, but by the time 
the song finished, something had clicked (Tonya claims it was her 
nice butt that was the reason). It was Tonya who was the one who 
proposed - doing the whole going-down-on-one-knee thing and 
proposing at his birthday party.

Joe says he doesn't care about Tonya's past. When asked what 
Tonya was like as a wife, he said "She's an amazing wife for one, 
and a super mom". "She's kind, she loving, she's a little rough 
around the edges. She's a redneck, but she's my redneck," he 

As for Tonya, she says "I couldn't ever ask for more. I mean 
ever. Finally God gave me something I've always wanted... 
Happiness, true love, and a family,".


In recent years the internet (and in particular YouTube) has 
resulted in large amounts of obscure Tonya footage that hasn't 
been conveniently accessible for years becoming available. Case 
in point: Sandra Luckow's "Sharp Edges" documentary from 1986, 
which is some of the earliest footage of Tonya skating, can now 
be found on-line:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story behind this 
documentary, Luckow was a fellow student of Tonya's coach Diane 
Rawlinson and her mother also sewed Tonya's dresses. She shot 
this 50 minute documentary about Tonya's preparation for the 1986 
Nationals as part of a film studies course she was doing at Yale. 
Parts of it were used on "60 minutes" in 1994 and also in the GSN 
"Anything To Win" documentary in 2006, but this is the first time 
the complete version has been widely available to the public.

We get to see Tonya's programs at the Nationals in 1986 - this 
appears to be the only recording as it seems that her performance 
wasn't broadcast (or if it was, it certainly hasn't shown up on 
line by now). It's also probably the only footage of her doing 
the now-defunct compulsory figures (which were never particularly 
TV-friendly). Hard though it is to believe today, up until the 
1990s it was often commonplace for only the Long Program parts of 
skating tournaments to be broadcast.

Tonya's hair stylist of the time appears to be channeling David 
Bowie circa 1972. John, I'm only skating...


Over the past 18 years Tonya has been a muse for those with a 
creative bent around the globe, inspiring movies, plays, operas, 
paintings, sculptures, websites, comic books and God knows what 
else. And she continues to inspire people today.

First up is California artist Aaron Young. Tonya turns up in a 
work in his recent exhibition, "No F***ing Way", held at L.A. 
gallery The Company in May & June. The exhibition consists of six 
pink triangular shaped paintings, each designed to represent a 
folded flag and featuring notorious female celebrities posing 
with American flags: Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson, Amanda Knox, 
Heidi Montag, Casey Anthony, and of course skating rivals Tonya 
and that other New England skater.

According to Young, the installation is about what he calls 
"tragic girls that have all been acting in their lives one way or 
another", seeking to contrast those celebrities like Lindsay 
Lohan & Jessica Simpson who voluntarily make their living in the 
public eye with those shoved into the spotlight unwillingly via 
scandal such as Tonya. The images of the women are depicted in a 
half-tone screened form, possibly designed to evoke the way 
photos are printed in a tabloid newspaper, reflecting their role 
as fodder for the media.

One writer observes:

   "The halftoning effect Young implements evoke mass media and 
   over-saturation, which has become the template for how we 
   absorb these images. This blurring of real and constructed, 
   only existing in the realm of performance, speculation and 
   judgment, implicates the viewer in its consumption, since our 
   observation of these celebrities will always be mediated."

Which is pretty much what we would have said, if we were a bunch of 
pretentious arty poseurs. You can see the Tonya painting here:

And further info can be found at these sites (warning, contains 
language that may be offensive to some people):

According to his bio, Young was born in 1972 in San Francisco, 
California. He graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 
2001, and received his Masters of Fine Art from Yale University 
in 2004. His work has been exhibited in Rome, Moscow, Naples, 
Oslo, New York and last but not least, Pittsburg.


Meanwhile from France, the same country which gave the world the 
guillotine, the metric system, Marie Reine LeGougne and "Daily 
Motion", the video site with a name that sounds like a brand of 
laxative, comes this strange entry in the Tonya ouvre, performed 
in October 2010 in the French seaside city of Lorient (hey, at 
least it wasn't the French city of Nancy):

Entitled "Break Your leg", it's pretty much unfathomable if you 
don't parlez-vous Francais, and looks like it probably doesn't 
make much sense even if you do - the two protagonists seem to be 
played by a combination of men & women, for instance, perhaps 
representing some sort of alter-egos - so it's hard to tell if 
it's pro or anti-Tonya. It does feature the innovative use of a 
rotating platform and a harness that quite effectively simulates 
the skating experience, however.

Here's a description courtesy of Google Translate:

   First part of "Break Your Leg" by Marc Lainé, a video 
   recording made in theatrical CDDB Lorient. For his new 
   creation, Marc Lainé was placed on this fault line, the 
   intersection between aesthetics, individuality, the media and 
   the sociological. Together to address all its dimensions, he 
   became interested in the case between Tonya Harding and Nancy 
   Kerrigan - two U.S. skaters who competed at the Olympics in 
   1994. All ingredients of the myth are present: the stylistic 
   differences of the two skaters, their history, their social 
   origins, but primarily, the savage aggression suffered by 
   Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding which is accused of being the 
   sponsor. At the competition, Nancy Kerrigan, restored, ends on 
   the second place - while Tonya Harding missed her performance, 
   falling several times. This is the beginning of a slow descent 
   into hell, to the glory of trash-TV trays, and skating to 
   boxing. Cettes inspiring story - with its "happy ending" to 
   the U.S. - serves multiple scenario in the piece, entangling 
   reality and fiction, dialogue and introspection, comments and 
   spectacular figures.

Be aware that it does contain some (simulated) sex scenes so it 
might not be the sort of thing to look at while at work. Hey, it 
is French, after all - their stuff is always full of that sort of 


We also now finally have a chance to clear up a long-standing 
rumor regarding Tonya and Woody Allen, and show how an anal-
retentive bureaucrat probably killed Tonya's chance at a movie 

Shortly after the scandal, a rumor began to float around that 
Tonya had been offered a part in one of Allen's movies 
(apparently the role ultimately played by Mira Sorvino in "Mighty 
Aphrodite"). The rumor was that Tonya supposedly turned him down 
because she "didn't like his morals", though attempts to find out 
Allen's version of things were unsuccessful.

It appears this originated with Sherri Spillane of the Ruth Webb 
agency, a bunch of bottom feeders who claimed that they were 
Tonya's agents at one time. If the name Sherri Spillane sounds 
like something out of a cheap 40's detective novel, there's a 
reason: she was married to Mickey Spillane, who made his name 
writing such stuff. Tonya's real agent of the time, Portland 
informercial king Merrill Eichenberger, tells it differently, 
saying that although he had an agreement with Spillane & Webb for 
them to look out for work for Tonya, they were never her agents 
and that all they came up with was "some B-movie stuff which was 
terrible" (which was about all that he himself come up with).

In any case, Woody's side of the story has now emerged. In a 
recent interview he revealed that the reason for Tonya's no-show 
was something far more mundane: her probation officer wouldn't 
let her travel to New York for filming. We've no idea which story 
is correct, though I'm inclined to believe Woody's version: the 
idea that somebody would turn down a part in a Woody Allen movie
- particularly someone as cash-strapped as Tonya was at the time
- is ridiculous, and sounds like precisely the sort of absurd 
nonsense that the lamestream media and the Tonyaphobes like to 
make up. Heck, there are megastars in Hollywood that would kill 
(or at least break somebody's leg) for an opportunity like that. 
Either way, it's a pity, as working with a major director like 
Woody Allen would have opened many doors for her in Tinseltown -
certainly much more than "Breakaway" or "The Prize Fighter" did.


It's been four years since we last updated our table on IOC 
corruption, which was for the Beijing Olympics, and with the 
London Games now on, another update is now long overdue (heck, it 
seems hardly any time since Vancouver).

Think that corruption in the IOC is a thing of the past? Think 
again! There's been quite a few changes. For instance, two IOC 
members, one of whom is the President of Hungary no less, have 
been caught out plagiarizing large chunks of their doctoral 
theses (in one case even down to copying the spelling mistakes). 
The IOC has done nothing about booting them out. The former 
director of the Monaco Intelligence Service claims that IOC 
member Prince Albert has connections with Russian gangsters and 
that he was given a lavish banquet at the Kremlin with Vladimir 
Putin, finance for a North Pole expedition and a holiday home as 
bribes for supporting that country's Sochi Winter Olympics bid.
The IOC did, you guessed it, NOTHING to investigate these claims.

Then there's honorary IOC member General Lassana Palenfo of Ivory 
Coast, a high-ranking figure in a bloody military junta. He was 
tossed in jail in 2000 after allegedly plotting to assassinate 
the junta leader, until Samaranch got him out. Accused of 
embezzling millions of dollars, he could face a 15 year sentence 
for running death squads - if he can be extradited from France, 
which seems unlikely.

The gold medal for hypocrisy must go to the IOC member for Syria, 
a country that's currently engaged in a mass slaughter of its 
civilian population. He's been campaigning to get the IOC awarded 
the Nobel Peace Prize!

Fortunately somebody else has been doing a much better job of 
keeping track of these sleazebags than we have. Andrew Jennings 
is a long time campaigner against sports corruption who has 
written three books on the Olympics and one on FIFA. In fact he 
exposed corruption in the IOC many years before the Salt Lake 
bidding scandal exploded into the headlines in 1998 and forced 
the issue into the spotlight. Together with former Olympic 
swimmer & human rights lawyer Nikki Dryden he's put together a 
report that tells you far more about the people that make up this 
secretive institution than the IOC would ever want you to know.
Quite alot of the info they've uncovered over the years about 
these guy's murky pasts is buried deep in various government 
archives around the world, and usually isn't in English, so most 
so-called "reporters" can't be bothered looking for it and just 
blindly reprint the mini-bios put out by the IOC's press office. 
Thankfully there are still some real journalists out there 
willing to do some legwork, rather than gossiping about who's 
humping Kim Kardashian this week:

The report can be downloaded for free at You can also buy two of Andrew's long 
out of print previous books, "The Lords of The Rings" (1992) and 
"The New Lords of The Rings" (1996) as e-books for the princely 
sum of two English pounds each. Despite the titles there's not a 
Hobbitt in sight, but they're just as gripping as anything JRR 
Tolkien or Peter Jackson could ever come up with, and although 
now quite old, they provide alot of useful historical information 
about the IOC. A third book on the IOC, "The Great Olympic 
Swindle" (2000) is not available for download, but well worth 
tracking down in dead tree format. As they'd say in England, 
"spiffing stuff, old chap!".


Finally here's a classic music video that we think Tonyaphiles 
will enjoy. From 1984 comes Divine's "You Think You're a Man", 
which features a guy who bears an uncanny resemblance to Tonya's 
ex-husband Jeff Gillooly getting chucked down a flight of stairs 
and off the side of a building. The song's title pretty much sums 
up Gillooly too:

We should note that we don't think it actually IS Gillooly as for 
a start he would have only been around 17 when it was made and 
this guy looks older. Plus you can bet that "Hard Copy" would 
have been all over this in five minutes in '94 if Gillooly had 
appeared in a music video with an overweight drag queen, probably 
under some headline like "Tonya's ex-husband's cross-dressing 
shame!". As we all know, they were absolutely desperate to dig up 
anything that was remotely Tonya-related and that could be 
twisted into something embarrassing, and this would have fitted 
the bill perfectly.

All in all, a fantastic video. A fat transvestite, energetic 
Stock, Aitken Waterman synthpop and a Gillooly lookalike getting 
a kicking. What more would a Tonyaphile need (apart from Tonya 
herself making an appearance, of course). Proof, if any more were 
needed, that the 1980s really was the golden age of music videos. 
And we could easily imagine Johnny Weir skating to this track as 


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