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



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Ziggy
05-19-2010, 10:32 PM
(I'm bored)

But it's true.

I am salivating over this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3P7wxwMMUU&
(kudos to Tony Wheeler for the link :respec:)

Best jumper ever. Strong SS too. As for the rest... Well :shuffle:.

Still. I can't think of any female skaters with technical skills that outstanding, overall.

When I look at Asada cheat her 3axels and Kim cheat her 3/3s, I want to tie them down "A Clockwork Orange" style and shout: 'THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE, SUCKERS!'

judgejudy27
05-19-2010, 10:44 PM
Too bad she didnt do that performance at the 91 Worlds or 92 Olympics. She would have won both events IMO.

Tony Wheeler
05-19-2010, 11:33 PM
I still can't get over the flow out of most of her jumps. The Lutz and especially the loop were huge (didn't she land a quad loop during the filming of a commercial back in the day? The loop here gives me no doubts that she was able to do one), and she barely had any preparation for the flip. That doesn't even include her triple/triple OR this thing called the triple Axel. The first 2/3 of the program were actually not bad at all (surprisingly, I like the soft Send in the Clowns middle section the most), and while Wild Thing wouldn't be my choice to end the program, it worked in this particular performance and really got the audience back into it after calming them down from the outrageous first minute or so. Then again, most of the programs in the late 80's and early 90's really didn't tell a story and the music cuts usually had no relation to each other.

Tonya's 1991 short program was really a perfect vehicle for her, as well. Oh, those 12 months in her career and what they could have led to..

Twilight1
05-19-2010, 11:37 PM
I definitely preferred her to Yamaguchi and Kerrigan. She was a firecracker on ice and I appreciated that about her skating.

Ziggy
05-19-2010, 11:39 PM
Hmm I just found some videos of Tonya skating in a pro competition in 1999.

I thought people refused to skate with her after what happened and both her amateur and any chance at a pro career were over?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vkbraXlPrk&feature=related

Tony Wheeler
05-19-2010, 11:45 PM
Hmm I just found some videos of Tonya skating in a pro competition in 1999.

I thought people refused to skate with her after what happened and both her amateur and any chance at a pro career were over?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vkbraXlPrk&feature=related

I remember this very well. She had a poor technical program, but came back strong in the artistic program for 2nd overall. Surya Bonaly, Tonia Kwiatkowski, Liz Manley?, and Rory Burghart (I think) were the other ladies in the competition, and they all welcomed her back very genuinely, or did a good job of pretending. There were clips of the award ceremonies at the end, and all of the ladies seemed pretty happy.

That's the only pro competition she ever skated in, though. Remember in the 1997 Ladies of Lillehammer or whatever special, Tonya skated at some separate (outdoor?) rink from the rest of the ladies.

BTW- here's her rough technical program. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Iqe54ntWkQ

Aussie Willy
05-20-2010, 12:28 AM
Hmmm I still think Midori is the greatest but I really appreciate Tonya's skating. When she was on she was amazing.

I would have loved to see Tonya and Midori head to head when they skated at their best.

Maybe another idea for an FSU judging game. Take the best SP and FS performances of both of them and put them in together. For FS I would pick Tonya from 91 Skate America and Midori from 90 Worlds. Does anyone have suggestions with clips from Youtube to use for SPs. I could set one up in a couple of weeks (just a bit busy at the moment with organising computer training for the volunteers because I am sick of doing it and trying to judge at the same time).

CaptCrunch
05-20-2010, 02:11 AM
Ziggy, that can't be the first time you've ever seen that performance is it?

There's no denying Tonya was a great great skater. God what an athlete. I was always such a big fan. First time I ever saw her was on ESPN during the SP's of the 1985 Sports Festival. She went out and landed a beautiful 3f/2lp combo!! Even today that jump combination is so rarely seen.

I was in Minneapolis for 1991 US Nationals and that LP of her's was probably the most exciting skate I ever saw at a US Nationals. I was soooo happy for her and had been waiting a long time for her to skate like that. Galindo's win in 96 is a close 2nd for me.

In a close call I'd probably go with Ito over Harding if both skated great.

jlai
05-20-2010, 02:24 AM
Harding in Albany, ready to start her engine
http://www.albanyherald.com/sports/headlines/92285084.html?ref=084
also: http://www.mysouthwestga.com/news/story.aspx?id=451543

Here's a question: Will the skating world forgive and accept her if one day she decides to coach or choreograph? Or do you think she's gotten into enough trouble post-1994 that she'll never be accepted in the skating community?

carriecmu0503
05-20-2010, 02:37 AM
Harding in Albany, ready to start her engine
http://www.albanyherald.com/sports/headlines/92285084.html?ref=084
also: http://www.mysouthwestga.com/news/story.aspx?id=451543

Here's a question: Will the skating world forgive and accept her if one day she decides to coach or choreograph? Or do you think she's gotten into enough trouble post-1994 that she'll never be accepted in the skating community?


Tonya would not be allowed to coach skaters at USFS qualifying events (regionals, sectionals, nationals) because she has been banned from USFS for life. You need to be both a USFS and a PSA member to coach at these events.

neptune
05-20-2010, 03:31 AM
Tonya's 1991 short program was really a perfect vehicle for her, as well. Oh, those 12 months in her career and what they could have led to..

I think Tonya was the "calendar year 1991" world champion. Kristi may have won Worlds, but that was the only major competition she won that year. Tonya had the best overall record against her competitors.

If Tonya had been given proper direction on costumes, choreography (which was still quite good under Flowers), etc., she could have pulled off a lot of different things IMO. Maybe not the super-pretty-pretty stuff (is there a :gag: icon? ;)), but who wants to watch that schlock anyway?

judgejudy27
05-20-2010, 03:37 AM
I think Tonya was the "calendar year 1991" world champion. Kristi may have won Worlds, but that was the only major competition she won that year. Tonya had the best overall record against her competitors.

If Tonya had been given proper direction on costumes, choreography (which was still quite good under Flowers), etc., she could have pulled off a lot of different things IMO. Maybe not the super-pretty-pretty stuff (is there a :gag: icon? ;)), but who wants to watch that schlock anyway?

It depends if you are talking about the 91 year or the 90-91 season. As far as the 90-91 season goes Kristi won the Goodwill Games over Trenary and Skate America over Ito too, with her only loss being to Harding at Nationals. The 91 year though you would be right. Kristi lost at Nationals to Tonya, Skate America to Tonya, and Lalique to Ito, and the one time she won both Ito and Tonya skated not only not clean but fairly poorly (Tonya's Worlds free skate might not have been exactly poor but not really good either with only 4 triples and one especialy jarring error).

jlai
05-20-2010, 03:37 AM
Tonya would not be allowed to coach skaters at USFS qualifying events (regionals, sectionals, nationals) because she has been banned from USFS for life. You need to be both a USFS and a PSA member to coach at these events.

Theoretically she can coach in Canada or elsewhere, can she not?
But even if she moves, willskaters go to her?

Fallcolor
05-20-2010, 03:44 AM
Tonya's 1991 skate america LP was most memorable for me. Two 6.0's on the first mark :)



Maybe another idea for an FSU judging game. Take the best SP and FS performances of both of them and put them in together. For FS I would pick Tonya from 91 Skate America and Midori from 90 Worlds. Does anyone have suggestions with clips from Youtube to use for SPs. I could set one up in a couple of weeks (just a bit busy at the moment with organising computer training for the volunteers because I am sick of doing it and trying to judge at the same time).
Yayy i would like to play. Hmm for Midori's best SP i would choose 1991 NHK. If i remember correctly she was absolutely fabulous, landing a 3A+2T combo. Tonya's SP, i think, 1991 or 1994 US nats? Too bad she fell on a 2A in the 1991 skate america competition since she landed a 3A!

neptune
05-20-2010, 04:19 AM
It depends if you are talking about the 91 year or the 90-91 season.

That's why I used the phrase "calendar year," because I mean only 1991 proper (including the fall). Yes, it's a different story if you look at the '90-'91 season. BTW, did Ito fall apart at SA '90 or something?