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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptune View Post
    I agree that Tonya's unprofessional behavior was probably only part of the story. Besides, the USFSA were pretty unprofessional themselves in many regards. Did they really twist Tonya's arm to get back together with Gillooly?
    I very much doubt that the USFSA's Executive Committee or Governing Council ever voted to tell Tonya Harding to get back together with Gillooly. So no, I think we can discount the possibility that the USFSA twisted Tonya's arm over this.

    OTOH, it may very well be that some judge or team leader tried to give Harding advice like that on their own initiative and in an unofficial capacity. I've heard of other such instances of crazy "advice" from judges -- for instance, Dan Hollander has said that a judge once told him to get his nose fixed so he wouldn't look so Jewish. The difference is that Dan realized that the judge had no business giving him "advice" like that, whereas Harding (assuming this ever happened at all) merely seized on it as another excuse for screwing up her own life.

    Which brings me to the point that someone else made here, that the USFSA ought to have intervened earlier to give Harding better guidance about how to be a decent human being than she was getting from her mother. Well, again, this isn't the sort of thing that the USFSA, as an organization, has ever done, and you can't have it both ways -- that they ought to have intervened in her home life, or that they had no business trying to intervene. Nowadays the USFSA's official policy is that anyone who has reason to suspect child abuse must report it to the local law enforcement and/or child welfare agencies rather than trying to resolve the situation themselves or expect the USFSA to do so.

  2. #202
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    Good post, dr.frog. True, as I said, ultimately the responsibility for making life choices is our own. My suggestion that Tonya might have been helped earlier as a youngster was more of a “perfect world” happy ending scenario, and had nothing to do with thinking the USFS as an organization should have intervened in her family situation. I was also thinking more of individuals lending a hand, and not necessarily USFS members either. For example, Dorothy Hamill tells a story of people who helped her when she was snubbed by certain skating clubs. Other stories include those by Debi Thomas (who on manleywoman’s podcast) indicated that there was no way her mother could afford to pay for the necessary ice time (despite her mother working more than one job). The rich parents of a fellow skater allowed Debi to share ice time with their daughter. Debi was also helped along the way by other kind individuals. I realize Dorothy’s and Debi’s situations described here were quite different from Tonya’s. I have also heard that there were individuals within the sport who tried to lend a helping hand to Tonya at various points, but she either refused, or perhaps by then her self-destructive personality had already been formed and it was too late to make a difference. Or maybe it’s never too late, but you have to be willing to receive help, and to take responsibility for your own life.

    Wow, re the judge’s comment to Hollander! Quite interesting that Debi Thomas (again on the podcast) mentions that she did have nose surgery at age 16 (at the suggestion of people within the sport), because she was always being told that the reason for her lower marks – when she was a better jumper than most of her competition – had to do with her appearance (in other words, it might help if she worked on her costumes and had a nose job). While having a nose job is not necessarily an idiotic choice, it certainly shouldn’t be something dictated to a youngster. I’m so glad Michelle Kwan never felt that necessity, and kudos to Dan Hollander for having a good sense of himself. Barbara Streisand and Steffi Graf also come to mind as individuals comfortable with who they are and quite beautiful from the inside out. I can only imagine what some officials might have suggested that a young Johnny Weir should do to improve his chances of moving up in the sport.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.frog View Post

    OTOH, it may very well be that some judge or team leader tried to give Harding advice like that on their own initiative and in an unofficial capacity. I've heard of other such instances of crazy "advice" from judges -- for instance, Dan Hollander has said that a judge once told him to get his nose fixed so he wouldn't look so Jewish. The difference is that Dan realized that the judge had no business giving him "advice" like that, whereas Harding (assuming this ever happened at all) merely seized on it as another excuse for screwing up her own life.
    Nail on the head Dr.Frog. I think Tonya's reality is a bit different than the rest of ours. She had skating to get out of the cesspool she was in. Of course she would listen to some random judge and take it as gospel. I really don't know what happened to her in 1989. She was rough, but the trajectory was still there. It is a shame. Maybe that was when Jeff came into the picture. Diane really held it together for her through her teens. A shame some sleaze would sweep her off her feet and ruin her.
    Last edited by IceKween; 06-20-2010 at 08:01 PM.

  4. #204

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    When you are in an abusive home, any way out looks good-even Jeff Gilooly. Unfortunately, it is so often jumping from the frying pan into the fire, as it was for Tonya.

    The appeal of possibly feeling loved is irresistible if that's been missing from your life.

  5. #205

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    I agree with all of these points that were obstacles for Tonya; however, she was still responsible for her own actions, and the simple fact is Tonya pushed away many opportunities, help, and advice due to her own stubborness, and yes, frankly, laziness. Tonya had skills and talent that were out of this world but she screwed herself over repeatedly with her refusal to practice hard, accept standards (USFSA) that weren't to her taste, and her penchant for doing things her own way. The biggest obstacle to Tonya Harding's success as a skater wasn't Kristi Yamaguchi or Nancy Kerrigan, USFSA or national or international judges: it was Tonya Harding herself. Her lack of consistency and inability to apply herself was what usually left her on the outside looking in at those who placed above her.

    And dr. frog, I very much remember the incident you described. Tonya's worst enemy was herself, and to this day, she doesn't recognize that.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  6. #206
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    The greatest 3lutz in the history of 3lutzes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGkw4Vq1LYA

    at 1:15, and the slo-mo is at 5:30

  7. #207

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    With regards to the "pressure" to get back with Jeff, I'm guessing what she heard was that a divorced woman could never be promoted as an ice princess.

    Frankly, it's very likely that she heard that from more than one source. That she took it to mean "get back with Jeff," as though it would "undo" the divorce, is sad and revealing of her state of mind.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR-FAN View Post
    The greatest 3lutz in the history of 3lutzes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGkw4Vq1LYA

    at 1:15, and the slo-mo is at 5:30
    Pretty good, but I would argue this one was better. At 0:43.

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
    Pretty good, but I would argue this one was better. At 0:43.
    you'd lose that argument


  10. #210

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    At the end of the day, it still bothers me that it was off ice stuff, not her "skating", that was being judged in competition. It strikes right at the heart of the legitimacy of skating as a sport.

    . . . It is really sad that the 3Lz-2Lp was an important achievement that was almost lost. It was gorgeous. Straight up and down without any flutz. It is not something that is seen today. More rare than even a 3A.

    Furthermore, it was not lost on me that during her 1987-88 SP, Tonya did:

    - A deep leaning pivot on a deep LEFT outside edge
    - A 2F immediately out of an Ina Baur
    - Her STRAIGHT Line (not wave) step sequence could probably be tweaked without new content to be Level 3
    - Her Camel-Change-Camel included an inverted position that would have qualified as a difficult variation
    - Her final combo spin had more variation that necessary for level 4 and was performed with great speed.

    She was so ahead of her time. As ahead as Midori.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 06-21-2010 at 05:16 AM.

  11. #211
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    It would be so nice if skating were always judged on the actual skating. And that people would know if they disagreed with the judges it was simply difference of opinion between them on the judges which would still happen a fair bit, but not on "other reasons" at play- nationality, reputation, practices, how much of a favorite to medal you were, which judge was on the panel, who the federation was pushing, off ice lifestyle, moms, coaches, paying your dues. Alas such is just a dream probably.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post

    She was so ahead of her time. As ahead as Midori.
    Agree completely. Although the international judges were usually a little more fair to both, the 87 NHK competition is proof that more than the skating came into play as both of them skated circles around Witt here and ended up losing to her. Totally bogus judging.

    I definitely think the USFSA treated Tonya very unfairly during her career, but the truth is that Tonya had the talent and capabilities to take it out of their control if she just buckled down and got serious about her training. If she had been in fighting shape more consistently throughout the years I have no doubt she would have been at least a one-time world champ and an olympic medalist and the USFSA wouldn't have been able to hold her down.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR-FAN View Post
    The greatest 3lutz in the history of 3lutzes:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGkw4Vq1LYA

    at 1:15, and the slo-mo is at 5:30
    I'd say that's a close second to this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVTttzFO5hI

    0:58, slo-mo at 5:19

    (I find the landing to be slightly better here)

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI View Post
    When you are in an abusive home, any way out looks good-even Jeff Gilooly. Unfortunately, it is so often jumping from the frying pan into the fire, as it was for Tonya.

    The appeal of possibly feeling loved is irresistible if that's been missing from your life.
    Great point.

    But getting on the judgemental high horse is so much easier and more appealing I guess.

  15. #215
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    I found a little tidbit concerning the "Tonya and Jeff reunion."

    From http://pdxiss.org/history.htm:

    "[Tonya] claims that a senior member of the USFSA told her that she would not get the marks she deserved if she did not reconcile with Gillooly."

    If that is true, it would be interesting to know exactly who the person was or what he/she specifically said. Or if Tonya misinterpreted the remark.

  16. #216

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    . . . It is really sad that the 3Lz-2Lp was an important achievement that was almost lost. It was gorgeous. Straight up and down without any flutz. It is not something that is seen today. More rare than even a 3A.
    I'm not sure what you're saying is not seen today. 3Lz-2Lo with that exact technique? Of course not. That combination at all? It certainly is done today, most notably by Miki Ando, who also sometimes does 3Lz-3Lo.

  17. #217

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    I agree with all of these points that were obstacles for Tonya; however, she was still responsible for her own actions, and the simple fact is Tonya pushed away many opportunities, help, and advice due to her own stubborness, and yes, frankly, laziness. Tonya had skills and talent that were out of this world but she screwed herself over repeatedly with her refusal to practice hard, accept standards (USFSA) that weren't to her taste, and her penchant for doing things her own way. The biggest obstacle to Tonya Harding's success as a skater wasn't Kristi Yamaguchi or Nancy Kerrigan, USFSA or national or international judges: it was Tonya Harding herself. Her lack of consistency and inability to apply herself was what usually left her on the outside looking in at those who placed above her.

    And dr. frog, I very much remember the incident you described. Tonya's worst enemy was herself, and to this day, she doesn't recognize that.
    This.

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I'm not sure what you're saying is not seen today. 3Lz-2Lo with that exact technique? Of course not. That combination at all? It certainly is done today, most notably by Miki Ando, who also sometimes does 3Lz-3Lo.
    Bardtoob said was that it is rare. Who else is doing a true lutz combo with a loop on the end? Butyrskaya did it once in 1998, and Slutskaya has several times in the 2000's. Since then, Miki is the only person I can think of. This one by Harding, however, was done in 1987! Pretty amazing to think that in the Olympics and Worlds just months later all that was needed to win the gold were triple toes and sals.

  19. #219
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    [meh there's no point]

  20. #220
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    Tonya at '91 Worlds:

    Some questions -

    While I'm sure Tonya could've won '91 Worlds if she had merely duplicated her '91 Nats LP there, how many mistakes could she have committed and still won? I mean -

    she made a hash out of her 3t-3t combo, instead she did a wild toe loop and tacked on a 2t, then later she doubled a planned 3sal.

    Would she have had to skate completely clean to beat Kristi in Munich '91 [KY was clean except for a popped sal, I think] or could she have still made a mistake and beaten KY in front of an Intl. judging panel?

    Also, what would a win have done for Tonya going into an Olympic year? What would the USFSA's attitude have been?? Any change??

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