Why Tonya Harding Is The Greatest Skater Of All Time

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

  1. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see that - but if she is too unstable enough to skate herself, how can she be stable enough to coach? Would she show up every day on time to teach? Would she be there for all the competitions? Would some life event get in the way (arrest, relationship, etc.)? It would be awful if she subconciously sabotaged a student the way she sabotaged herself.
  2. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    She's easily the best female jumper in the history of US figure skating. I even liked her 3Axel better than Midori Ito's, personally. I also thought she was a powerful spinner and she had great skating skills. She should have won Olympic bronze in 1992, IMO. Sure, she didn't have Kerrigan's body line/spiral and choreography, but everything else about Tonya's skating was superior over Nancy's from 1991-1992. It just once again goes to show how extremely important it is in figure skating to skate a clean SP. Nancy's SP saved her the bronze spot on the podium in 1992.
  3. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    :rofl:
  4. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    :lol: I totally understand why you would laugh at Nancy's choreo, generally speaking. I generally would laugh too, but her '92 LP was one of the couple times I felt she had good program construction, at least in comparison to Tonya Harding. The other time was the Beauty and the Beast LP in 1993. Plus, I felt Nancy's music in '92 and '93 for the LP was much better than Tonya's music choices for her LPs those years. Every other program of Nancy's I agree was laughable in terms of music choice and choreography. :D Her SP music in 1992 and her LP music and choreo in 1994 in particular were pants wetting in its cheesiness. :p Tonya's long programs were so disjointed in their music cuts and laugh worthy too. ;)
  5. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    I would agree if it weren't for the spanish porn aerobics mid section. That arm variation on the sit spin in her combination set to the siren noise in the background cracks me up, too. How did Paul Wylie get away from Mary's awful choreography?
  6. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    :lol: Speaking of porn, how about Tonya Harding's slow section music in her '92 LP. Her music goes from sounding so Olympic to porno music. :rofl:
  7. chipso1

    chipso1 Well-Known Member

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    15-year old Tonya winning the long program and the silver medal at Skate America in 1986. Her pivot at 2:10 is :eek:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJuZuqr8nXQ

    2A, 3T, 3Lz, 3L-2T, 2F-2T-2L, 2A-2T, 3S-2T, 2Lz, 1F-2T.

    A young Tonya defeats soon-to-be World champ Jill Trenary at the 1989 Skate America:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq9MFnFMKRE

    3Lz, 2A, 3T-2T, 3S, 3F, 1A, 3L-2T, 2A-2A sequence.

    Tonya, the 1989 US bronze medalist, was in 2nd place heading into the FS in 1990. It's too bad she bombed there...she was MUCH more talented than Holly Cook (who ended up going to worlds in 1990...and winning the bronze there:eek:).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2dHL6kKdDE

    ^^Just a total meltdown.

    Still, she's one of the best ever. Think of how great she could have been with a coach like Frank Carroll, far, far away from Oregon, her family, and that crazy mo-fo Jeff Gillooly.
  8. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    It was nice for Cook to have her own career high point moment though at the last ever event with figures at the 1990 Worlds. Even with figures winning the bronze and beating people like Yamaguchi and Lebedeva (a much more seasoned figured specialist) was a big surprise and thrill for her. Once the figures were abolished her career was over basically. She dropped to 6th at U.S Nationals the very next year.
  9. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

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    Its so funny that in the last year figures were contested the judges finally started to judge them accordingly. In previous years I seriously doubt if a skater like Holly Cook would have come anywhere near 4th place at her first worlds. I still say Yamaguchi should have won the bronze medal at 90 worlds. Cook had no business being 4th in the LP there. She should have finished behind skaters like Sargent and Grossman in the LP. Didn't Grossman land 3 different triples in that LP (?) and she certainly had much better presentation than Cook.

    Getting back to Harding....that 2A at the start of her LP at 89 US Nationals is probably the best 2A I've ever seen in ladies skating. It had such amazing height and power.
  10. viennese

    viennese Well-Known Member

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    Harding did seem unbeatable in 1991.

    Somewhere in that '91 program, she did a hitch kick, a totally unnecessary but awesome crowd pleasing move -- *nobody* does those. You hear the crowd go crazy for it. For moves like that and the death drop, she was so explosive and strong. It was painful to see her lose that fire.

    It did seem that she was, as so many have said, her own worst enemy as far as sustaining that greatness.
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    It was.

    What's stupid is putting people into prison for an offence like this (unless it's grevious bodily harm).

    She looked very much trained and prepared at that one pro event she took part in. And she did place 2nd.

    Tonya didn't wrap. :p

    I was 8 years old in 1991. You think I would have remembered it, even if I've seen it? ;P

    P.S. US Nationals was not broadcast in Poland back then anyhow (and still isn't). ;)
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  12. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

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    So what, I was 13, in the US, and didn't see it then either. :p

    What I meant was, it's been talked about so much over the years that I figured anyone who was a hardcore skating fan and regularly posts here had seen it.

    Anyway, have you seen her 93 SA sp? One of the best 6.0 sp performances ever. One of the best Lutz combos ever, and even her spirals are great in this program.
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I've only ever seen Tonya Harding talked about on FSU in the context of "look at funny white trash loser."

    Speaking of which, I would really like to read on what is happening in her life now. In a context different to the above. ;P

    I guess Jlai's links will have to do. :)

    And why would I want to watch old skating videos? ;P

    Ewwwww old judging system. :scream:

    Spirals held a fraction of the second. :scream:

    No attention paid to anything other than jumps. :scream:

    Ewww judging being made according to who landed the most jumps unless you skated in the previous group in which case the judges already forgot about your existance. :scream:

    I could go on and on. ;)
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  14. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's hyperbole to say that Tonya's life would have been different had she grown up skating under COP.

    She might have some issues getting high level spins and spirals, but imagine the GOE on her jumps! And her transitions mark should have been through the roof.

    I think 6.0 could really drive you batty if you were prone to bouts of self-doubt or negativity. And batty's a nice word for it, really.
  15. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Tonya is no saint but I can't help but wonder if she looked worse than she did post-1994 because she's in skating and not in another sport. The US skating community by and large comes from an entirely different socioeconomic background and thus looks at her with their slightly conservative, middle-class bias.

    I wonder how she would have been viewed had she been talented in boxing or basketball.

    Where I grew up, I witnessed enough domestic violence ala Harding's episodes to not find anything "white trashy" about it. :(
  16. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    But did she rap?

    I shoulda won
    The Albertville bronze,
    Landed most of my tricks
    And was cool as the Fonz.

    Instead I got bested
    By that Kerrigan chick.
    We tried to get her back,
    But only landed up a crick.


    ;)
  17. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Jlai, I think you are right.

    And Neptune, Tonya should definitely release a single as her next career move. :D
  18. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

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    Dear God...NO! And if she is ever considered to be, I will slit my wrists with my Klingbiles!
  19. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    She already tried that remember? It was called "Golden Blades" and she got booed off the stage.
  20. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

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    Yes, she tried her hand a singing.

    Yes, she was booed.

    Poor Tonya. :(
  21. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    Well, since that move didn't quite work in the past, maybe this time she should release a double. ;)
  22. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    It's not on You Tube. :(
  23. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    Proof that Tonya could skate "pretty"-- her 1987 NHK exhibition. Jo Jo Starbuck gives commentary. One of my fave programs to watch over and over. Her 2Axel right on the music gives chills!
  24. Chris_E

    Chris_E Active Member

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    That was actually quite nice. Thanks for sharing!
  25. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Kristi Yamaguchi was actually a big fan of Tonya's skating (well, her jumps). In an interview she said that while she admired Midori's great jumping ability, Tonya's were even more beautiful.
  26. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Was it before or after Tonya beat her at Nationals and then at Skate America? :p

    Stylistically I prefer Yamaguchi, but Harding's skating quality and power deserved much much more than those tiny 3lutzes that Yamaguchi did.
  27. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    It was after, lol!
  28. robinhood

    robinhood Active Member

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    Tonya was a true pioneer, as Midori was for Japan. Look how many great jumpers has Japan produced since Ito
    Harding was the truly first and outstanding american jumper. I dunno why with such depth and history in a skating country like the US, it hasn't produced so many great jumpers as other countries
  29. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    What, no respect for Elaine Zayak, Linda Fratianne, or even Carol Heiss each in their day?
  30. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    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.
  31. allyx82

    allyx82 New Member

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    NO SHE COULD NEVER BE " The Greatest Skater Of All Time" .

    *As the USFSA put it "a clear disregard for fairness, good sportsmanship and ethical behavior"

    When you physically hurt someone that just wrong and even though she could skate very well it means nothing...
  32. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    It means something to me. Whack or no whack, I still find myself watching videos of Tonya's performances time and time again...If I ever decide to watch Nancy, it's because I need a good laugh.
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  33. allyx82

    allyx82 New Member

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    Physical violence is wrong..

    plus her career was really short compared to other skaters and she even changed sport to boxing..
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  34. robinhood

    robinhood Active Member

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    Sure, you're right. I meant since Tonya there hasn't been a truly great jumper in the US. Perhaps Bobek had the potential, but if you think about it the US hasn't had the very best jumpers since Tonya Harding
  35. DORISPULASKI

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

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    Well, which little US skater would want to be known as "the next Tonya Harding."

    Also, I'm wondering more and more whether extreme flexibility, which we have been emphasizing as goodness in the US since the days of Bobek & Kerrigan, doesn't mitigate somewhat against doing well with the toe jumps, resulting in mule kicks & such?
  36. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Because everybody in the World outside the US was so inconsistent, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipiniski were the best jumpers in the Worlds from 1995-1998, so the US did have the best jumpers . . . in between the inquisition of Chen Lu and the rise of Irina Slutskaya. However, sometimes it is hard to consider Michelle and Tara good jumpers because, like much of the skaters that came after Midori and Tonya, there technique was suspect.

    Like Midori, Tonya would have been competitive today. Tonya was also ahead of her time. Although I am certain the USFSA was eager to erase any kind of special distinction for Tonya Harding, everybody knows that Kimmie Meisser's jumping could not have competed with Tonya Harding's jumping.
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  37. robinhood

    robinhood Active Member

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    Tara and Michelle were really good jumpers, and the most consistent skaters. Chen Lu, sato, Kerrigan were excellent jumpers, too. I consider them to have really solid technique for the most part
    But these skaters never had the jumping ability of an Arakawa, Bonaly, Onda, Ando, Asada, Slutskaya...even Sebestyen, Rechnio, Hubert or Gusmeroli as inconsistent as they were had superb jumping ability
    Which was the last american skater that can compare to this skaters in terms of powerful jumps? I can only think of Tonya
  38. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    Well, you could say Kimmie Meissner, since she had a 'ratified' triple axel at the 2005 Nationals... :lol:

    Tonya's senior career, according to wikipedia, went from the 1986 Nationals where she came 6th at 15 years old through the 1994 O's where she was 23. She started winning medals on the Grand Prix circuit in the 86/87 season (still 15/16 years old). That's 9 seasons. Not too shabby.

    And I don't think anyone here is condoning physical violence. We're just looking at her skating. Mistakes made off the ice have no bearing on someone's talent. Alexei Yagudin was kicked off a tour in 1998 for alcohol use (and was arrested for DUI in 2003) and Nobu got a DUI just a couple of years ago. They made the conscious choices to engage in behaviour that could hurt others. Does that mean we can't say that Nobu is outstanding and Alexei is among the greatest ever?

    Maxim Staviski, well, we all know about what happened with him because of his drunk driving, which lead to worse than 'physical violence'. Does that mean we can't acknowledge his talent as a skater?
  39. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Somebody should have told Tonya's mother. :shuffle:
    kwanfan1818 and (deleted member) like this.
  40. IceKween

    IceKween New Member

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    Um, did you just start watching skating a couple of years ago? You clearly do not know anything about what you are talking about. Tonya Harding was winning Skate America LP's and SP's in *1986*, and winning internationals since then too until she (was) retired in 1994. Tonya was there long before Kristi Yamaguchi in seniors and long after. Who else sustained her level of skating for that many years? Go to Youtube and search for Tonya vids.
    I mean really, you sound so ignorant. Sorry, but you do.

    ETA: Screech, I posted before reading your post. Your are correct wrt Tonya's career. She really could have been a great.