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  1. #1
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    Why Tonya Harding Is The Greatest Skater Of All Time

    (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 )

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

    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!'

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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.

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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 by Tony Wheeler; 05-19-2010 at 11:48 PM.

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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.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

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    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=5vkbr...eature=related

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    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=5vkbr...eature=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

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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).
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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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.

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    Harding in Albany, ready to start her engine
    http://www.albanyherald.com/sports/h...4.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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Harding in Albany, ready to start her engine
    http://www.albanyherald.com/sports/h...4.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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wheeler View Post
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    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).

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    Quote Originally Posted by carriecmu0503 View Post
    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?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    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!
    Last edited by Fallcolor; 05-20-2010 at 03:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    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?
    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. 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....

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    I think Tonya was the "calendar year 1991" world champion.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    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?
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.frog View Post
    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.
    Ah, but let's not forget that Harding was the proud "inmate of the month" at the Oregon jail where she served her time.

    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....
    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. #20
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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)

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