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

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06-02-2010, 11:53 AM
Nancy Kerrigan was the first American lady to land a 3t/3t. She did it in juniors in 1987 I think, could be a year before then.

06-02-2010, 03:59 PM
Actually, her first time in competition was in 1985, but that was national competition. I don't know when she first did it internationally. She says she was inspired by Mark Cockerell's 3t3t in 1984. Nancy's discussion on how easy it is to do 3/3's is instructive.


The question with Midori is whether she did it in competition or not, and whether it was national or international competition or not, and which of the 2 did it first in international competition.

I remembering being shocked out of my shoes to see Nancy being given credit for it.

06-02-2010, 04:08 PM
Ito was first:

At the 1982 World Junior Championships, Ito won both the short program and free skating, but again weak compulsory figures left her only in 6th place overall. Her free skate at this event included a triple flip and a triple toe loop/triple toe loop combination, and she additionally landed a triple lutz in the exhibition.

06-02-2010, 04:32 PM
Thanks to floskate, here is a clip of the combination by Midori:

06-05-2010, 07:33 AM
Nancy doing the 3toe/3toe at the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival.


06-05-2010, 08:16 PM
Actually, Peggy said that when Michelle Kwan was doing 3T-3T. When Debi was attempting 3T-3T, it was the only type of 3-3 ever landed by a female, that female being Midori Ito at age 11 and only 18 months after a man first landed it :P

I remember Peggy saying that about Michelle Kwan's 3-3, but she DID say of Debi's 88 US Nationals LP 3toe-3toe, "That rhythm of those two jumps being the same makes that a little bit easier, but that's a tough combination to keep that flow going."


06-05-2010, 08:17 PM
BTW- who WAS the first man to do a 3-3? I've always thought 12 yr old Midori landed it before any man was able to. :)

06-06-2010, 12:08 AM
Agreed. The American style for ladies from the 1960s onwards has been often defined by its athleticism. The list includes Julie Lynn Holmes, Dorothy Hamill, Fratianne, Zayak, Jill Frost, Debi Thomas, Cindy Bortz, Jeri Campbell, Holly Cook, and Tisha Walker.

Even skaters known for their artistry like Lisa Marie Allen, Rosalynn Sumners, Tiffany Chin, Caryn Kadavy, Jill Trenary and Nancy Kerrigan were excellent jumpers as well.

Let's not forget Janet Lynn. She was known for her artistry, but she was one of the most advanced jumpers of her time as well.

BTW- who WAS the first man to do a 3-3? I've always thought 12 yr old Midori landed it before any man was able to. :)

Grzegorz Filipowski of Poland, 1980. :)

Tonya's 1991 Skate America LP has been posted, but let's not forget that in the 1991 SA SP, she became the first woman to land a 3axel combo, and the first to land a 3axel in a SP.


bummer about the final jump.

Special thanks to Spinner for posting Harding's 1987 NHK exhbition. That's always been one of my favorites of her performances, and the performance I always refer to when I argue that Tonya did have artistic ability against those who think she is all about the athletics.

Speaking of 1987 NHK - it's an early example of a great Ito vs. Harding matchup, with an inferior Witt inexplicably winning. :confused:

Tonya Harding 1987 NHK LP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlUUDmn0lvo&feature=PlayList&p=0875B5F09A03A136&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=3) bronze

Midori Ito 1987 NHK LP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdjHYm921QE) silver

06-06-2010, 12:29 AM
Witt's performances at NHK in 87 must be her worst....ever maybe? I dont think I can recall an event she skated worse, including the 82 Worlds where she had some errors in her LP. No surprise that she still won though really, the sport then was even more politcal than it is today. Poor Harding wasnt even given a look in the U.S even though she was already doing harder jumpers and doing them better than almost any other American women.

06-06-2010, 12:42 AM
bardtoob posted a 1985 vid of Tonya, originally provided by skatesindreams, in another thread (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=2780152&postcount=29).

Tonya Harding 1985 National Sports Festival, Ladies SP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms9abaxEuMU)

06-06-2010, 01:21 AM
:respec: :eek:How amazing was that for a 14 yr old in 1985. And it wasn't because she was a tiny little thing either, because as far as I can see, she was much the same size as in 1992.

06-06-2010, 03:17 AM
Couldn't agree more. I'm glad to see this vid. Tonya first blew me away when I was watching 1986 Skate America 24 short years ago. It's very exciting to see how good she was at an even younger age.

06-06-2010, 03:34 AM
She showed such amazing potential. It is a shame things didnt work out better for her competitively but often the best skaters are not the ones who miss the most medals anyway. I would rather watch her skates as a younger skater than almost any of skaters like Kerrigan and Bonaly who won many more medals in the same era.

06-06-2010, 03:44 PM
When I first saw Tonya, I thought that she would go all the way to the top.
How I wish that she had been able to cope with her many "issues".

What "might have been"...

06-10-2010, 11:30 PM

Here is her 1991 Nats SP:


I find it odd that the US judges were stingier with her marks than the Intl. panel at Worlds for basically the same performance [pre-whack] :confused:

In fact, she skated early at '91 Worlds in the SP and was given 5.9 for artistic impression by the Yugoslav and Chinese judges :confused: