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.
15-year old Tonya winning the long program and the silver medal at Skate America in 1986. Her pivot at 2:10 is
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:
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).
^^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.
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.
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.
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.
P.S. US Nationals was not broadcast in Poland back then anyhow (and still isn't).
Last edited by Ziggy; 05-22-2010 at 03:57 AM.
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.
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.
Spirals held a fraction of the second.
No attention paid to anything other than jumps.
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.
I could go on and on.
Last edited by Ziggy; 05-22-2010 at 04:36 AM.
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.
"Puccini cries out for spirals, but really good ones." ~ Dick Button, 1998 Worlds
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.
Jlai, I think you are right.
And Neptune, Tonya should definitely release a single as her next career move.
Dear God...NO! And if she is ever considered to be, I will slit my wrists with my Klingbiles!
Without fear you cannot find courage
Yes, she tried her hand a singing.
Yes, she was booed.