Why Tonya Harding Is The Greatest Skater Of All Time

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Ziggy, May 19, 2010.

  1. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    (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!'
     
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Too bad she didnt do that performance at the 91 Worlds or 92 Olympics. She would have won both events IMO.
     
  3. Tony Wheeler

    Tony Wheeler Well-Known Member

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    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..
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  4. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    I definitely preferred her to Yamaguchi and Kerrigan. She was a firecracker on ice and I appreciated that about her skating.
     
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  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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  6. Tony Wheeler

    Tony Wheeler Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  7. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    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).
     
  8. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

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    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.
     
  9. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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  10. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    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.
     
  11. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  12. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    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).
     
  13. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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

    Fallcolor New Member

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    Tonya's 1991 skate america LP was most memorable for me. Two 6.0's on the first mark :)

    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!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  15. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  16. dr.frog

    dr.frog Well-Known Member

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    That was the only pro competition Harding was ever invited to. It was 1999, the pro skating boom was pretty much over, and promoters were desperate for a gimmick to revive interest. Michael Rosenburg agreed to act as Harding's agent and got her this event against a bunch of B-list pros as a kind of trial balloon, to see if she was serious about trying to make a comeback and if the public would accept her. Well, it wasn't either a spectacular success or spectacular failure, but before Rosenburg could get her any more work, Harding assaulted her boyfriend with a hubcap when she was drunk, had to serve jail time, got put on probation for a couple years, etc. :scream: Rosenburg dropped her like a hot potato and that was the end of her pro skating career. Pretty typical of Harding to completely screw up any opportunity she had by doing something totally stupid, IMO.... :wall:
     
  17. Tony Wheeler

    Tony Wheeler Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! I was referring to those 12 months being January-December 1991, and not even in a vs. everyone else kind of way, necessarily. She just really had it together, but then lost much of her steam and the judges favor by the time Albertville came around.

    It just baffles my mind how she goes from World silver medalist to what she showed up as a year and a half later at Skate Canada.
     
  18. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    At SA 1990 Ito fell in the short program. In the long program she missed both the triple axel and triple flip, and I think one other triple too. Even with those mistakes she was given mostly higher technical marks than a clean Kristi and lost it only on the 2nd mark.
     
  19. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but let's not forget that Harding was the proud "inmate of the month" at the Oregon jail where she served her time. ;)

    I've read that, concerning certain people, they often bungle things up because everything feels "safer" to them that way. IOW, failure feels more comfortable and familiar to them than success. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that were true in Harding's case.
     
  20. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

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    A few years ago I remember seeing a video of Tonya from I think 1986, some regional or club competition that was broadcasted on TV (I remember there being commentators, but for the life of me I can't remember the competition) and she did a 3lutz. I swear, it was the HUGEST triple lutz I have ever seen. EVER. I mean it freakin put Granny's lutz to shame!

    For me, the 2nd-greatest jumper in the history of this sport (sorry, noone beats Midori in my books)
     
  21. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, judgejudy27. That's quite an unusual performance for Ito. So she probably landed 4 clean triples then. Hard to say whether she deserved the nod for technical merit over Kristi or not. If Kristi landed 7 triples, then probably not. But if she landed 6 or fewer (especially without a triple-triple), then I could see putting Midori ahead, since her spins were usually great too.
     
  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure Kristi landed 7 triples. I dont remember if she did a triple-triple. Ito actually became alot more inconsistent once the figures were removed. Everyone thought she would be completely unbeatable once they were gone but she became more unpredictable, and the free skating competition improved a great deal while the other top free skaters were now also allowed to flourish without figures. She did have some really bad luck with the injuries at the 91 Worlds, all the media pressure in 92, but she maybe also found it tough to handle the pressure of now being the overwhelming favorite without the figures. Before she was always down in figures, even once she became a major contender in 89 and 90, and so she just went into the free skating with less to lose and skating lights out. It is also different having Jill Trenary as your top free skating competition to having Yamaguchi and Harding.
     
  23. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    Then I'm glad she won at least.

    True. That's why it's always difficult to predict how Skater X would have done in the past if a competition format had been different. There are so many variables involved.

    Exactly--anyone would prefer to have Yamaguchi and Harding. ;)
     
  24. joeperryfan

    joeperryfan Well-Known Member

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    I have this impression about Tonya too, that and she has always lacked a good support system. Most skaters have a bunch of people telling them how fantastic they are and building up their ego, Tonya either had people putting her down or telling her that everyone was out to get her, that can't be easy.

    IMHO, even without the hucap incident she wouldn't have had much of a pro career after that 1999 competition, many skaters refused working with her (IIRC Lipinski was one of them), and that would have diminished her chances greatly. Who knows what she might have heard by the time that incident took place? She could have preferred, on a subconscious level, to fail by her own actions than have others let her down and despise her once more.
     
  25. dr.frog

    dr.frog Well-Known Member

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    I also I remember hearing talk that fall that Lipinski was one of the skaters who refused to work with Harding; Dick Button had been making noises about getting Harding to do World Pros but in the end he decided Lipinski was the better catch. Anyway, after the B-event where Harding did skate, the gimmick was over and it clearly wasn't going to save pro skating. Button decided to get out while the going was good and sold Candid Productions to SFX who also picked up the JP competitions and Michael Rosenburg's business, then SFX was sold to Clear Channel which had no interest in skating, and that was the end of the pro skating boom. Except for "Ice Wars" which was the property of CBS, the only other player left standing in the business was IMG, which had its fingers in both the ISU pro-ams and the Disson shows, and clearly Harding wasn't going to get invited to any of those. :rolleyes:

    I do wonder, though, what might have happened if Harding had shown up at that pro event trained and prepared with new programs and used it as an opportunity to reestablish herself as a serious skater instead of just another opportunity to collect a paycheck for being the notorious Tonya Harding.... But I think it's pretty clear that Harding is more interested in continuing to try to cash in on her 15 minutes of fame than on doing anything that requires real work to earn a living. :violin:
     
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  26. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's what I want to know. He's knows every OES ever but never seen Harding's 91 performance? :lol:

    Anyway, I wish she kept the original cut of the "Batman" score she had for the program. I love the music in the final section.
     
  27. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Whenever I think of Tonya Harding, "what might have been" comes to mind.
    Some people use personal difficulties as a spur to great achievement; others are forever "victims".

    She lacked discipline, on any level; focus, and a strong work ethic,
    Tonya had more pure talent and natural ability then almost anyone; yet squandered it.
    She might have had the pontential to become the "Greatest Ever". However, we will never know.
     
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  28. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

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    Some of the more skating purists actually prefer the Tonya Harding as seen in this clip of the1986 Skate America Long Program, as there's a little more attention to body positions and the skating is a little bit more "lighter" at her early career compared to later years.
     
  29. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    What a pleasure to see a lady who can do both a flip and lutz from the proper edge and do a triple loop. (her spirals not so much) I wonder if the rash of tiny jumping little flutzers with bendy positions we have had here in the US was a reaction-the last thing anyone of them wanted was to remind anyone of Tonya in any way whatsoever.
     
  30. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: May 20, 2010