PDA

View Full Version : Why Tonya Harding Is The Greatest Skater Of All Time



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 [14] 15 16 17 18

dr.frog
06-20-2010, 01:55 AM
USFSA never liked Tonya. USFSA was always and still is a very snobby organization. Tonya, because of her background, was never considered "one of them". A lot of USFSA judges held her background against her and would low-ball her when it came time to compete.

I believe I've posted the story of my one in-person encounter with Tonya Harding here before. Based on that, and what I've heard/read about her from others who had the misfortune of having to deal with her, the USFSA's problem had nothing to do with Harding's "background" and everything to do with her own unprofessional behavior.

bardtoob
06-20-2010, 01:59 AM
I believe I've posted the story of my one in-person encounter with Tonya Harding here before. Based on that, and what I've heard/read about her from others who had the misfortune of having to deal with her, the USFSA's problem had nothing to do with Harding's "background" and everything to do with her own unprofessional behavior.

Okay, so the USFSA treatment did not have to do with Tonya Harding's skating.

Thanks,

Dr. Frog ;)

. . . I wonder if I will ever see this in someplace like Wikipedia.

judgejudy27
06-20-2010, 02:30 AM
At 89 worlds both Yamaguchi and Evelyn Grossman should have beaten Leistner and Trenary in the LP. No doubt about it. Yamaguchi finished 6th at those worlds but she should have been 4th overall. I "believe" if she would have been 1 place higher in the LP then she would have finished 4th overall.

I agree that Trenary's 3rd place in the LP was a total joke. Should have been at least 5th.

Didn't Trenary just beat Leistner by a 5-4 split for 2nd in the SP? If I'm remembering correctly Leistner was 1 judge away from winning worlds that year (GAG). Thank God Ito ended up winning the event. :)

One judge in the SP gave Trenary 5.7 technical, 5.8 presentation and Leistner 5.8 technical, 5.6 presentation. Since the 1st mark was the tiebreaker in the short had that judge only dropped Leistner .1 in the presentation mark rather than .1 Leistner would have won overall. :rofl: That is unless the judges scored the LP differently to prevent that in that case.

I am not surprised Yamaguchi wasnt placed 2nd in the LP even landing alot of triples. She was a little girl who looked small, skated small, jumped small, and had no major international rep in singles yet. Like I said they should have definitely sent Tonya instead of Kristi that year.

aftershocks
06-20-2010, 09:07 AM
I believe I've posted the story of my one in-person encounter with Tonya Harding here before. Based on that, and what I've heard/read about her from others who had the misfortune of having to deal with her, the USFSA's problem had nothing to do with Harding's "background" and everything to do with her own unprofessional behavior.

I agree with you, but I also think there might be some merit to the other position. Perhaps if the sport was different (less political – and traditionally cliquish, elitist), maybe Harding might have been helped earlier on as a youngster, by someone recognizing the dangers of her mother’s abusive treatment. Might it have made a difference if someone had taken Harding under their wing and out of her harsh family environment when she was still young, before she had become irreparably hardened? (no pun intended) I know Harding had/ has an aggressive, ignorant manner and a prickly personality, but again with receiving guidance, mentorship, understanding and acceptance earlier as a kid growing up in the sport, perhaps her hard, protective shell would not have developed in such a harmful way. Maybe then, as she matured, she might have made better personal and career choices.

This discussion reminds me of something similar that Frank Carroll, Debi Thomas, and Tai Babilonia all had to say on manleywoman’s podcasts. Their comments in summary: You have to take responsibility when things are difficult and obstacles are in your path. It’s important to suck it up, avoid feeling sorry for yourself, recognize the challenges but try to avoid blaming others, make clear decisions about what you want and what it will take, keep working hard, don’t worry about the judges’ scores or about winning, but just make sure you’ve done everything necessary to be prepared and do your job to the best of your ability. Obviously, you are steps ahead with the luck of having a good team around you, nurturing and good advice. However, what happens in your life ultimately depends on the choices and sacrifices you make as an individual, and on the habits good or bad that you acquire.

neptune
06-20-2010, 10:05 AM
I agree with you, but I also think there might be some merit to the other position. Perhaps if the sport was different (less political – and traditionally cliquish, elitist), maybe Harding might have been helped earlier on as a youngster, by someone recognizing the dangers of her mother’s abusive treatment.

I agree that Tonya's unprofessional behavior was probably only part of the story. Besides, the USFSA were pretty unprofessional themselves in many regards. Did they really twist Tonya's arm to get back together with Gillooly? If so, then that was absolutely none of their business, and banning her for life would be extremely hypocritical if they're the ones who forced her back into the powder keg.

dr.frog
06-20-2010, 03:23 PM
I agree that Tonya's unprofessional behavior was probably only part of the story. Besides, the USFSA were pretty unprofessional themselves in many regards. Did they really twist Tonya's arm to get back together with Gillooly?

I very much doubt that the USFSA's Executive Committee or Governing Council ever voted to tell Tonya Harding to get back together with Gillooly. :lol: So no, I think we can discount the possibility that the USFSA twisted Tonya's arm over this.

OTOH, it may very well be that some judge or team leader tried to give Harding advice like that on their own initiative and in an unofficial capacity. I've heard of other such instances of crazy "advice" from judges -- for instance, Dan Hollander has said that a judge once told him to get his nose fixed so he wouldn't look so Jewish. :rolleyes: The difference is that Dan realized that the judge had no business giving him "advice" like that, whereas Harding (assuming this ever happened at all) merely seized on it as another excuse for screwing up her own life.

Which brings me to the point that someone else made here, that the USFSA ought to have intervened earlier to give Harding better guidance about how to be a decent human being than she was getting from her mother. Well, again, this isn't the sort of thing that the USFSA, as an organization, has ever done, and you can't have it both ways -- that they ought to have intervened in her home life, or that they had no business trying to intervene. Nowadays the USFSA's official policy is that anyone who has reason to suspect child abuse must report it to the local law enforcement and/or child welfare agencies rather than trying to resolve the situation themselves or expect the USFSA to do so.

aftershocks
06-20-2010, 07:11 PM
Good post, dr.frog. True, as I said, ultimately the responsibility for making life choices is our own. My suggestion that Tonya might have been helped earlier as a youngster was more of a “perfect world” happy ending scenario, and had nothing to do with thinking the USFS as an organization should have intervened in her family situation. I was also thinking more of individuals lending a hand, and not necessarily USFS members either. For example, Dorothy Hamill tells a story of people who helped her when she was snubbed by certain skating clubs. Other stories include those by Debi Thomas (who on manleywoman’s podcast) indicated that there was no way her mother could afford to pay for the necessary ice time (despite her mother working more than one job). The rich parents of a fellow skater allowed Debi to share ice time with their daughter. Debi was also helped along the way by other kind individuals. I realize Dorothy’s and Debi’s situations described here were quite different from Tonya’s. I have also heard that there were individuals within the sport who tried to lend a helping hand to Tonya at various points, but she either refused, or perhaps by then her self-destructive personality had already been formed and it was too late to make a difference. Or maybe it’s never too late, but you have to be willing to receive help, and to take responsibility for your own life.

Wow, re the judge’s comment to Hollander! Quite interesting that Debi Thomas (again on the podcast) mentions that she did have nose surgery at age 16 (at the suggestion of people within the sport), because she was always being told that the reason for her lower marks – when she was a better jumper than most of her competition – had to do with her appearance (in other words, it might help if she worked on her costumes and had a nose job). While having a nose job is not necessarily an idiotic choice, it certainly shouldn’t be something dictated to a youngster. I’m so glad Michelle Kwan never felt that necessity, and kudos to Dan Hollander for having a good sense of himself. Barbara Streisand and Steffi Graf also come to mind as individuals comfortable with who they are and quite beautiful from the inside out. I can only imagine :eek: what some officials might have suggested that a young Johnny Weir should do to improve his chances of moving up in the sport.

IceKween
06-20-2010, 07:42 PM
OTOH, it may very well be that some judge or team leader tried to give Harding advice like that on their own initiative and in an unofficial capacity. I've heard of other such instances of crazy "advice" from judges -- for instance, Dan Hollander has said that a judge once told him to get his nose fixed so he wouldn't look so Jewish. :rolleyes: The difference is that Dan realized that the judge had no business giving him "advice" like that, whereas Harding (assuming this ever happened at all) merely seized on it as another excuse for screwing up her own life.

Nail on the head Dr.Frog. I think Tonya's reality is a bit different than the rest of ours. She had skating to get out of the cesspool she was in. Of course she would listen to some random judge and take it as gospel. I really don't know what happened to her in 1989. She was rough, but the trajectory was still there. It is a shame. Maybe that was when Jeff came into the picture. Diane really held it together for her through her teens. A shame some sleaze would sweep her off her feet and ruin her.

DORISPULASKI
06-21-2010, 12:30 AM
When you are in an abusive home, any way out looks good-even Jeff Gilooly. Unfortunately, it is so often jumping from the frying pan into the fire, as it was for Tonya.

The appeal of possibly feeling loved is irresistible if that's been missing from your life.

Yazmeen
06-21-2010, 02:36 AM
I agree with all of these points that were obstacles for Tonya; however, she was still responsible for her own actions, and the simple fact is Tonya pushed away many opportunities, help, and advice due to her own stubborness, and yes, frankly, laziness. Tonya had skills and talent that were out of this world but she screwed herself over repeatedly with her refusal to practice hard, accept standards (USFSA) that weren't to her taste, and her penchant for doing things her own way. The biggest obstacle to Tonya Harding's success as a skater wasn't Kristi Yamaguchi or Nancy Kerrigan, USFSA or national or international judges: it was Tonya Harding herself. Her lack of consistency and inability to apply herself was what usually left her on the outside looking in at those who placed above her.

And dr. frog, I very much remember the incident you described. Tonya's worst enemy was herself, and to this day, she doesn't recognize that.

MR-FAN
06-21-2010, 03:00 AM
The greatest 3lutz in the history of 3lutzes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGkw4Vq1LYA

at 1:15, and the slo-mo is at 5:30

Coco
06-21-2010, 03:26 AM
With regards to the "pressure" to get back with Jeff, I'm guessing what she heard was that a divorced woman could never be promoted as an ice princess.

Frankly, it's very likely that she heard that from more than one source. That she took it to mean "get back with Jeff," as though it would "undo" the divorce, is sad and revealing of her state of mind.

Spinner
06-21-2010, 03:29 AM
The greatest 3lutz in the history of 3lutzes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGkw4Vq1LYA

at 1:15, and the slo-mo is at 5:30

Pretty good, but I would argue this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdC5G7CDvbI) one was better. ;) At 0:43.

MR-FAN
06-21-2010, 03:39 AM
Pretty good, but I would argue this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdC5G7CDvbI) one was better. ;) At 0:43.

you'd lose that argument :P

:shuffle:

bardtoob
06-21-2010, 04:52 AM
At the end of the day, it still bothers me that it was off ice stuff, not her "skating", that was being judged in competition. It strikes right at the heart of the legitimacy of skating as a sport.

. . . It is really sad that the 3Lz-2Lp (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC3xshNNvRQ) was an important achievement that was almost lost. It was gorgeous. Straight up and down without any flutz. It is not something that is seen today. More rare than even a 3A.

Furthermore, it was not lost on me that during her 1987-88 SP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC3xshNNvRQ), Tonya did:

- A deep leaning pivot on a deep LEFT outside edge
- A 2F immediately out of an Ina Baur
- Her STRAIGHT Line (not wave) step sequence could probably be tweaked without new content to be Level 3
- Her Camel-Change-Camel included an inverted position that would have qualified as a difficult variation
- Her final combo spin had more variation that necessary for level 4 and was performed with great speed.

She was so ahead of her time. As ahead as Midori.