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  1. #21

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    Where was Tonya Harding in terms of the 1993 World Championships? Basically, she had a disastrous U.S. Nationals, finishing 4th (hampered by a cold). Consequently, she failed to make the team for Worlds. Here are her short program and free skate from Nationals. Nancy Kerrigan, Lisa Ervin, and Tonia Kwiatkowski (1st, 2nd , and 3rd at Nationals respectively) were selected instead of her. Kerrigan went on to finish 5th at Worlds, with Ervin 13th, and Kwiatkowski eliminated after the qualifying round in 31st place. I think it highly likely that had Harding been selected for Worlds, then fully recovered from her cold, she would probably have placed higher than Ervin and Kwiatkowski ultimately did. Hence, it was a poor decision not to select her.

    Would Harding have been a medal contender at 93 Worlds? The major problem she had during this period was that she never managed to successfully land another 3A after 1991 Skate America and her career consequently went into decline thereafter as a result. She would never make the podium at a World Championships or Olympics again and her only top 3 finish at a major competition post 1991 was a third place at 1993 Skate America. She did "win" U.S. Nationals in 1994, but was disqualified in circumstances that are well documented.

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    Based on her level of skating the 92-93 season I doubt Harding would have been a medal contender at the 93 Worlds. She landed 0 clean triple lutzes and only 1 clean triple flip all season. That kind of content she would have made top 10 on a decent day, but that is all. The top 7 LPs at Worlds (this means the people who finished 1-8 minus Kerrigan who was only 9th in the free skate and was 5th due to fluke ordinals and her short program win) were all much better than anyone Harding had done all season long.

    Then again who knows. She might have peaked for Worlds. She certainly had the talent if she got herself in great shape. The caliber of skating at the 93 Worlds was in fact quite excellent that year. Despite the talk of people of the "weak" 93-94 field the caliber of skating at the 93 Worlds overall blew away the 92 Worlds and even 92 Olympics. Harding would have needed a pair of great skates to make the podium there and definitely would have needed the triple lutz and some strong jump combinations.

    I agree she should have been sent to Worlds over Kwiatokowski. Kwiatkowski was a journeywomen at that point, who never delivered more than 2 triples per program, had poor international results at the invitationals she was sent to through the years (eg- that season her best was a 5th at Nations Cup in a super weak field where Tanya Bingert the 5th ranked Canadian took silver) and it was a total waste to send her. Plus she didnt in anyway outskate Harding and Bobek at Nationals, at best her free skate was on par and her short program there worse. Bad move on the USFSA's part.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I agree she should have been sent to Worlds over Kwiatokowski. Kwiatkowski was a journeywomen at that point, who never delivered more than 2 triples per program, had poor international results at the invitationals she was sent to through the years (eg- that season her best was a 5th at Nations Cup in a super weak field where Tanya Bingert the 5th ranked Canadian took silver) and it was a total waste to send her. Plus she didnt in anyway outskate Harding and Bobek at Nationals, at best her free skate was on par and her short program there worse. Bad move on the USFSA's part.
    I agree that Tonia should have been replaced with Tonya. It also makes one wonder if the attack on Kerrigan would have even happened had the USFSA did the right thing in 1993 by sending Harding to Worlds. Harding and company must have felt it was a HUGE slap in the face by the USFSA to have been left off the World team given Kwiatkowski's very weak competitive history at the time plus the fact that Tonia failed to even qualify for the SP. They may have felt that if the USFSA was willing to send someone like Kwiatkowski over Harding, then selecting Kerrigan and Kwan over her in 1994 would also have easily happened no matter how Tonya skated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    I agree that Tonia should have been replaced with Tonya. It also makes one wonder if the attack on Kerrigan would have even happened had the USFSA did the right thing in 1993 by sending Harding to Worlds. Harding and company must have felt it was a HUGE slap in the face by the USFSA to have been left off the World team given Kwiatkowski's very weak competitive history at the time plus the fact that Tonia failed to even qualify for the SP. They may have felt that if the USFSA was willing to send someone like Kwiatkowski over Harding, then selecting Kerrigan and Kwan over her in 1994 would also have easily happened no matter how Tonya skated.
    I have often thought the same thing. However, you'd think Tonya and her husband and henchmen would have targeted Tonia or Lisa.

  5. #25
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    ^I think Tonya was being 'taught a lesson' at '93 Nats about the price to pay for slacking off

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    Christine Brennan in her book speculates the only moderately talented, and more more focused on school than skating around then, "good girls" Ervin and Kwiatkowski were sent to Worlds over Harding and Bobek to deliver a message to the other two. Bobek had created a fiasco at the World Juniors in Korea, stealing from a minibar, and the police had to be called. A huge scandal for the USFSA. Harding had been way out of shape and badly underperforming all year, although she was in better shape at Nationals but unfortunately god sick. All the top women at those Nationals landed only about 2 triples (including Nancy who won very easily with only 3, a foreshadowing of her flop as gold medal favorite to come at Worlds). 12 year old Kwan in content blew them all away landing 5. So it basically come down to whoever the judges wanted to favor.

    I do agree Harding missing the 93 Worlds and the paranoia with the U.S women having only 2 spots, probably led largely to the Harding attack. Another was her showing at 93 NHK. In a book on Harding it stated she skated a clean short though and due to 3 or 4 newbie judges on the panel she was dumped down to 7th anyway, while bonaly and Chen who fell in the short wound up 3rd and 4th. She ended up 4th overall at that event behind Bonaly, Sato, and Chen and was very upset with her finish there, and apparently that is when her and her team decided she wouldnt be seen as a medal contender even if she made it to the Games unless Kerrigan was out of the way and she was U.S #1.

    I really wish I could see 93 NHK and all the performances to test the accuracy of some of these comments. I suspect if she really did skate "clean" what it means is she ended up doing something like only a double loop-double toe in the short, like 92 Skate Canada, and that would in fact mean her low short program placement made sense, even behind big name skaters like Chen and Bonaly who atleast tried a triple lutz and missed it. Now if she landed a triple lutz combo and was 7th in the short in that field, I could see that being enough to lose her stack completely.

  7. #27
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    I agree about the theories about Harding. Nonwhitstanding that falls NHK, she made things pretty easy for the judges to dump her in the standings and give the newbies a chance. Still she easily would have made top 10 at worlds, which she should have been sent; still a huge drop off from her hey days of gold medal contender. In some ways the judges were saying she was past her prime and should have retired after the Albertville season.
    In hindsight though she was not favored when USA ladies was very strong in 87-90 when she was outskating many on the world stage, but was left off world teams.

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    I wonder when Tonya showed up looking better than ever in the short at 93-94 Skate America, the USFSA started patting themselves on the back for the tough love approach of not sending her to worlds. Of course then came the LP, complete with missed jumps and equipment problems.

    I wonder what happened to Tonya that season. Like it's been said, we don't really know 100% what happened ay NHK, but she showed up to Nationals in not as good shape as she did SA, which I always found odd. Did she stop training for a while in between the NHK and Nationals? When she got to the Olympics she was closer to the shape she was in at SA but skated worse in both programs than she did at Nationals when she looked heavy and undertrained.

  9. #29
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    Given all the drama going on in Tonya's personal life by 93-94 it is not surprising her weight and physical condition flucuated so much. Her biggest 2 mistakes ever were stopping to train before the 92 Games, and then just letting herself go completely in the 92-93 season. She was a real gold medal contender for the 92 Olympics by fall 91. It could be argued with beating Yamaguchi 2 of their last 3 meetings and Ito's 4th place at Worlds, she was even the gold medal favorite for Albertville at that point. I would actually pick her 91 Skate America performance as the Skate of the year, even over Yamaguchis 92 Nationals performance and Itos Trophee Lalique performance (I know some might disagree). Her stock dropped greatly with her 3rd place at the 92 Nationals though. With the caliber of skating at the 92 Olympics including big falls by the two favorites Yamaguchi and Ito she would have easily won gold with her best performances, but instead showed up jet lagged, made excuses, and finshed 4th behind a lackluster Kerrigan. I think she genuinely tried to right the ship for Worlds but it was too many changes (new programs, new approach, new/old coach) in too short a time and she came 6th. Given the again dissapointing caliber of skating there she could have easily been 2nd to Yamaguchi (who was never losing there as it was basically her hometown event and a Yamaguchi lovefest) with even reasonably good performances.

    At that point though she should have taken her new positive approach she tried to take for the 92 Worlds, realized she had a whole summer, and realized with Ito and Yamaguchi gone, and an Olympics only two years later she had a potential dream situation. She could have made that little half quadrennial all her own if she showed up in her fall 91 shape, especialy with her improved artistry she showed at the 92 Worlds, and came out super determined and showed everyone in her fall events she was ready to kick ass. In hindsight we see those 2 years totally lacked a strong leader in the womens field, hence all the controversies over who should have or could have won the 93 Worlds, 94 Olympics, even 94 Worlds, and that could have easily been Tonya. Instead she showed up looking like a pregnant women (when I saw her at Skate Canada 92 which I actually attended live I honestly thought Jeff had knocked her up and she was pregnant), barely able to rotate a triple salchow or triple toe, and saw her stock continue to plummet so deep. At that Skate Canada event for instance headcase Josee Chouinaurd landed ONE triple and still beat Tonya off the podium. Nancy Kerrigan skated very poorly all season, her worst season of skating ever as she couldnt handle her new favorite status, and like Tonya was seriously undertrained that season (in Nancys case too many endorsements and appearances according to her coaches), and still didnt come to losing to Tonya once which reflects how Tonya was skating. After not making Worlds in 93, her stock had sunk to the point that nothing short of a miracle in the 93-94 season would have ever risen her to be a serious contender on the World stage again.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 09-25-2013 at 02:01 AM.

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    It was sort of shocking to me to see how out of it Tonya Harding was at the 1993 Nationals. Yes, it's arguable that she should have placed on the team, but her skating simply did not look good at that competition. She looked completely out of shape, uncaring, and worst of all, outdated. You do not want to be passe in your federation's and in the judges' eyes. You'll no longer get the benefit of doubt and it's hard to win back.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  11. #31

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    I guess I'm one of the few who liked the ladies podium the way it stood. I love Lulu post-1994, but not so much here. She seemed to be waving her arm lyrically (and endlessly) without relation to the music, her back pumping was too obvious, that combo spin...weak positions, none of them held, traveling all over the place ...was very novice level. Surya put out a great athletic performance, but she does seem so choppy compared to the others. Oksana had such great showmanship and jumps, sure it wasn't the most sophisticated LP but it won both a Worlds and a Olympic Gold Medal, I'm OK with both victories.

  12. #32
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    I may have mentioned this before, but having seen the 1992 US Nationals in person, Tonya Harding was skating very well during the practices.

    On the day of the short program, Tonya appeared to hurt her ankle quite badly with a bad landing on the triple axel combination. You could see how it really affected her performances for the remainder of the competition.

  13. #33

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    On the Lisa Ervin SP link, there is also footage of Tonia KuietNowPlease failing to qualify. Normally I'd be sad for such a situation, but in her case, I can't help but think:

    MuaHaHaHaHaHA!....No more haircutters for you! Buh-bye Tonia, shoulda sent Tonya!


    I know I am mean. But I am not sorry

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I may have mentioned this before, but having seen the 1992 US Nationals in person, Tonya Harding was skating very well during the practices.

    On the day of the short program, Tonya appeared to hurt her ankle quite badly with a bad landing on the triple axel combination. You could see how it really affected her performances for the remainder of the competition.

    Interesting to hear. She admits in her documentary she barely trained the 3 months leading to Albertville, except some last ditch efforts to cram in some hard training after the USFSA started monitoring her and threatening not to send her (that is what I based my beliefs on, her own words, not some heresay from her psycho ex husband and the always excuse making Rawlinson who I always take with a grain of salt). It sounds like she was still capable of skating at an Olympic Gold medal level until her injury at Nationals though. I wonder how that also affected her at the Games, along with the jet lag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    Where was Tonya Harding in terms of the 1993 World Championships? Basically, she had a disastrous U.S. Nationals, finishing 4th (hampered by a cold). Consequently, she failed to make the team for Worlds. Here are her short program and free skate from Nationals.
    Thanks for the links. I think it's the first time I watch them !
    And OMG...the costume this time...the lace in lillehammer...Poor, poor Tonya...so unlucky...

  16. #36
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    Tonya skating cleanly with 5 triples would have taken 4th place over Sato at the 93 Worlds
    Tonya skating cleanly with 7 triples would have taken bronze over Chen.
    Tonya skating cleanly with triple axel would have taken gold medal over Baiul.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    Thanks for the links. I think it's the first time I watch them !
    And OMG...the costume this time...the lace in lillehammer...Poor, poor Tonya...so unlucky...
    I forgot which commentator (Scott?) insinuated that it was more likely self-sabotage than bad luck.

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    Scott Hamilton never liked Tonya and never gave her credit. He even implied her marks in the long program at the 92 Olympics were too high, when they were really too low and she should have beaten Kerrigan's bad skate in the long program. He was a huge Nancy fan and always raved how amazingly artist she was which nobody but him seemed to see.

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    I know it's getting a little off what the original topic was, but I was just reminded of this practice clip of Tonya doing amazing triple axels at 94 Nationals practices;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYViHpq1KTs

    Again, Tonya doesn't look as fit as SA or the Olympics, but her triple axels (and the rest of her jumps) were so spot on here. I wonder what happened that caused Tonya to lose the triple axel in competition, because she singled it here in the FS despite doing some of the best ones ever in practice, and I've seen practice and warm up vids from 92 also where she clearly had it under control but would take huge spills in the competition skate.

    It wasn't like she lost the jump, something just happened to the jump in competition. The ankle thing would explain 92 Nats I guess, but the rest of the time it seemed like something would happen to the timing and she wouldn't even come close to landing it. The axels in this vid just came so easily.

    BTW, does anyone know who the girl is that cut Tonya off and caused Tonya to say "Not smart!"? I wonder if she feared for her life after that.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    In a book on Harding it stated she skated a clean short though and due to 3 or 4 newbie judges on the panel she was dumped down to 7th anyway, while bonaly and Chen who fell in the short wound up 3rd and 4th. She ended up 4th overall at that event behind Bonaly, Sato, and Chen and was very upset with her finish there, and apparently that is when her and her team decided she wouldnt be seen as a medal contender even if she made it to the Games unless Kerrigan was out of the way and she was U.S #1.

    I really wish I could see 93 NHK and all the performances to test the accuracy of some of these comments. I suspect if she really did skate "clean" what it means is she ended up doing something like only a double loop-double toe in the short, like 92 Skate Canada, and that would in fact mean her low short program placement made sense, even behind big name skaters like Chen and Bonaly who atleast tried a triple lutz and missed it. Now if she landed a triple lutz combo and was 7th in the short in that field, I could see that being enough to lose her stack completely.
    This is an article by EM Swift from Sports Illustrated that goes through the purported plans to take out Nancy and starts with speculation that it all started at NHK where Tonya felt her final placement was not fair. Note that it starts by stating that she MISSED her combination (a fall) in the short program

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...4829/index.htm



    Per Wikipedia, Tonya finished 7th in the short, so she must have been well less than clean. I think the judging story was yet another Tonya fantasy excuse for her own poor performance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_NHK_Trophy
    "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

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