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Tonya did not waste her talent and potential, USFSA did

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Gabybackhand, May 20, 2014.

  1. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    I was watching a documentary on Harding the other day and I felt sorry for her. I dont really think she sabotaged her own career and talent as some claim but the USFSA sabotaged her. She should have won the 89 Nationals and gone to the 89 worlds where she would have won atleast silver behind Ito, but politics kept her at home. She would have been in shape for the 92 Olympics and most likely won the gold with Yamaguchi and Ito both making mistakes (her Skate America and 91 National performances would have won the gold there given the other performances), but she was forced to stay home until last minute, made to be jet lagged, and showed up heavy legged and unable to skate well and didnt even medal. She should have gone to the 93 worlds even with her bad performance at Nationals but was kept home in favor of journeywomen Kwiatkowski. USFSA even made her go back with Jeff Gillooly and warned her she wouldnt make the 94 Olympic team even in the 2nd spot behind Kerrigan if she didnt. That is what led to her being implicated in the whole Jeff attack. She probably should have won the 91 worlds even with her mistakes, since her triple axel was huge and Kristi also made a mistake and wasnt as artistically superior as 92 yet. Kristi also didnt have a true triple-triple yet unlike 92. Judges went with the USFSA and Kristi though.

    USFSA ruined her career. Tonya didnt. Nicole Bobek is a better example of someone who wasted her talent.
    julieann and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Excuses,excuses,excuses. :rolleyes:
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  3. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    This is a parody thread right? Right? Right?

    It was Tonya's decision to remain in the US as long as she did in 1992.

    It was Tonya who claimed the USFSA wanted her back with Gilooly. An accusation they categorically denied. An accusation no other skater ever accused then of. But of course you believe the chronic liar over them.

    It was Tonya herself who was quoted on camera admitting to a reporter that she "got lazy" between 1991 Skate America and 1993 Worlds. She admitted it was her fault but you're blaming her federation because you know better than her?
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  4. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    Yeah, I have her on tape bragging about how she never got jet lag. :rolleyes:
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  5. eurodance2001

    eurodance2001 Well-Known Member

    LOL.. Gabybackhand must be a Tonya alter ego.. I'm shocked Tonya has access to a computer and knows how to use it in between her hunting and chopping wood to keep warm.. This thread certainly is where it belongs: IN THE TRASH... Summer off season in full swing...
  6. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    This is not true. Both Tonya and her ex coach Diane Rawlinson who she was good friends with even when not coached by verified in the documetary they were made to stay in the U.S until well past the closing ceremonies since the USFSA were not happy with how she skated at nationals and considering well into the games to send someone else.

    They did not deny. They refused to comment, which suggests it is probably true.
  7. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    ... delete ... I promised myself I would stop participating in threads on this topic.
  8. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    It's all Kristi Yamaguchi's fault too...if she hadn't been born, she wouldn't have won Worlds in 1991 yada yada yada. (Thank you for being born, Kristi!)
  9. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

    Tonya was tech savvy enough to publish erotic fan fiction written about her on her old angelfire website or whatever. It's since been removed from the site, such as it is, but some of the....poems....are cached elsewhere. Google at your own risk.
  10. ToFarAwayTimes

    ToFarAwayTimes Well-Known Member

    Ah, good old schadenfreude ... how I have outgrown you so. Better to just feel sorry for people and move on.
  11. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    But she did ruin a perfectly good hubcap!
  12. rosiekins

    rosiekins Member

    LOL WHAT! I want to read this crap really bad now.
  13. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    How do we know Tonya was the one who wrote the erotic fan fiction? That would be lame even for Tonya. Besides it's hard to believe she'd have the commitment and focus to write a story from beginning to end. :p

    As for the person being shocked that Tonya owns a computer, she needs something to hurl at her next victim.
  14. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Maybe you should look at more than just one TV documentary before declaring what are the "facts" and what aren't in this situation.
  15. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    It was also Tonya who chose to smoke in site of being asthmatic so she ended up wheezing at the boards sucking on her inhaler.

    And, as mentioned above, it was Tonya who never dedicated herself to her sport by staying in condition and who regularly put on surplus pounds she had to take off in a rush mid-season.

    The USFS nay have given her some bad advice, and she may have made some weird choices thinking it would gain favor with USFS officials and judges without them ever actually saying so, but people need to take responsibility for their own life decisions.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  16. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there are moments in her career where Tonya did not get the benefit of doubt or even the placement she deserved. I'm sure that affected her and maybe it would have changed the course of the future if say she went to 1989 Worlds or if she placed third in the LP in Albertville over Nancy (though the placement would not have changed thanks to the SP) or if she had been placed in the 1993 World team, etc.

    However, Tonya is far from the only skater in the U.S. or the world who was arguably robbed of a better placement that led to a lost opportunity. In a subjective sport like figure skating with subjective scoring (especially in the 6.0) and the adding up of 7-9 judges' scores to compute a final result based on overall consensus will tend to lead to results that will be arguable or controversial. This whole blame the USFS and ONLY the USFS is really tiresome because it simplifies the whole issue of federation support/disfavor and the role the conservative culture of figure skating has on people who have to fight harder than others to get properly recognized. By ignoring Tonya's role in her own downfall (and the company she kept and the life choices she made in regards to training), you are doing nothing to make yourself sound objective. Tonya apologists need to stop taking a page out of bitter, revisionist, pathological liar/excuse-maker Tonya (and who told so many versions of her story since 1994 that she ended up contradicting herself repeatedly and was caught doing so in the later documentaries). Instead, you should gain some objective perspective on the matter and realize that Tonya did just as much harm or more to herself as anybody else she can and did blame.

    I understand her background, abusive upbringing, and maybe the unwelcoming nature of the USFS really created a steep mountain for her to climb…a steeper one with more obstacles than most other skaters. However, she also received a lot of attention, help, and one-on-one support than most other skaters as well, and she squandered many resources along the way in an ungrateful way. She wanted to be true to herself, which is admirable (especially in a sport where judges do have too much influence in how skaters should not just skate but look and dress). However, some times that's more of an expression of immaturity, stubbornness, and refusing to actually improve oneself both in and outside the rink than it is about making a statement about being an individual and fighting against the narrow-minded structures.
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  17. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    I agree that Tonya was an incredible talent and the USFSA should have supported her early in her career, but I don't agree that the USFSA drove her to Jeff Gilooly and what followed. Tonya was an adult and she took the wrong path. She is the only one responsible for what happened to her past 1992.
  18. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    What a strange strange thread.
  19. Moto Guzzi

    Moto Guzzi Well-Known Member



  20. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    She probably should have won both the SP and the LP there. I think she two-footed her lutz in both programs (why was two-footing a problem for her?), but in the SP, Jill only did a triple-toe, and then did only 4 triples in the LP--one of them barely landed--in a tentative, sloppy performance. Kristi herself skated like a junior--yes, she was hitting the jumps (except for the salchow), but Tonya was superior in pretty much everything else. What else did Kristi have then besides clean (but small) jumps?

    If she didn't succumb to nerves, then yes, she probably would have. And in '90, she might have even won the gold, since her figures were much better than Ito's. It's ironic that Tonya's very first Worlds were the ones at which figures had been eliminated. If they had still been there, she probably would have won, even with being second in the SP and the LP.

    She got dissed on the second mark, which was ridiculous. Kristi had very little going on in the second mark IMO.


    Possibly. But it was close. However, Tonya should definitely have won the SP--the only reason Kristi won it was reputation and "ladylikeness," no doubt. :p

    I never understood all this stuff about Kristi being artistic. I would describe Kristi's artistry as GFA--generic female artistry. :) Basically, Kristi's skating was ladylike, pleasant, and polished. Of course, most people equate those qualities with artistry, but I don't. It's possible for a woman to be artistic without being "ladylike," pleasant, or polished. Kristi was essentially just a very polished technician IMO who was mostly bland (but executed her choreography well) and brought little if anything original to the ice. Kristi was a "nice" skater, but there was very little tension, excitement, or unique personality/musicality in her skating.

    On the whole, I think landing a full set of jumps is often overrated. If the jumps themselves are small and the skating is slow, such a skate doesn't really leave much impact. OTOH, even when Ito or Harding botched a couple of their jumps, you were often still left with a big "Wow!" factor.
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  21. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I never bought Kristi's musicality. However, her programs were jam-packed with transitions and choreography, she finished her moves, had nice posture, and actually did what she could to bring her A-game in terms of presentation. Tonya could be very lazy with selling a routine. Her bad posture, unfinished moves, and empty choreography outside some transitions was really evident compared to Kristi's programs.

    I mean, I agree with that small and slow skating doesn't do much to wow the audience, but I don't think Kristi had any problems in getting the audiences and judges to feel her wow factor.
  22. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    I agree. But I don't think that is the same thing as being artistic. It means she was very polished and finished.

    Yes, Tonya was a diamond in the rough who needed a lot of work: better outfits, music, choreography, etc. She could also have used posture exercises, dance training, etc. But that doesn't mean that Tonya herself simply wasn't artistic or musical--she was just never developed to her full potential, which she had a ton of IMO. Even with her rough skating, Tonya still exuded a lot more of what I would consider artistry than Kristi ever did.

    Yes, many seemed to get excited over Kristi, but I didn't. Now, I'm not saying that her performances weren't accomplished or impressive--her consistency was very admirable. I'm simply saying that her skating never "wowed" me, and I never really considered her artistic.
  23. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    To get a perspective of what a judges pet Kristi is take a look at the short programs of the 96 Four Continents where an old and way way past her prime Kristi beat Michelle Kwan at her peak skating perfectly in the short program of the Ultimate Four. At the time Michelle was considered so dominant by the amateur judges that even doing a mere triple toe in the short program, others doing a triple flip and triple lutz-double loop skating cleanly still couldnt come close to her unless she missed. However Kristi doing only a triple toe as well beat her in the short program. She also won the short program predominantly on artistic marks. Kristi's program was pretty and elegant, but simple, safe, and boring while Michelle's amazing short to Dreams of Desdoma had depth, tension, far more complex choreography, and was just as beautiful but having all those other elements Kristi's program was devoid of. The complex choreography and transitions from Kristi's programs in her amateur days that VIET speaks of, and that I concede were there way back then, were completely gone by now. Kristi even had a couple 6.0s for presentation for her boring pwetty princess program while Michelle had mostly 5.8s, her artistic marks dropped from her elements marks which never happened in any other competition, which just show the judges considered even an old washed up Kristi this supreme artist. For Kristi to get higher artistic marks than Midori, Tonya, and Nancy is one thing and understandable, but to get higher presentation marks than the legendary godly artist Michelle Kwan skating perhaps her best short program ever, especialy at that stage of their careers. Crazy. And the elements marks were almost the same even though Kristi had these little tiny jumps vs the big jumps of Michelle (compared to Kristi) and much stronger footwork and spirals, while equal or at worst only slightly weaker spins.

    Kristi was such a judges pet I would be willing to bet money she would have won 11 straight World and Olympic titles from 91-98 had she stayed in. During interviews at the 98 Olympics reporters even joked with Kristi she could still win the Olympic gold. At the time she was only doing 4 triples per program so the concept in itself should be laughable that she could beat Michelle and Tara but given the huge favortism with the judges she always carried I wouldnt be surprised that was true even then.

    And Tonya had to face that. Along with a perhaps even more overscored Nancy since atleast Kristi skated well to be overrated for her unspectacular skating, but Nancy didnt even do that most of the time. Nancy could skate awful like the 92 Olympics long and be placed over a decent Tonya, and then you have Snotty Hamilton in the booth moaning Nancy deserved even higher scores and Tonya even lower.

    Ask yourself what would Kristi, Michelle, Evan Lysacek and others have achieved if they had to deal with the family upbringing, USFSA disdain and all the other obstacles Tonya faced. Probably even less than Tonya. It is easy to judge from the position of the established U.S stars who were supported and pampered from day 1 complete with inflated socres at Nationals, full USFSA support and sponsorship, loving and supportive families vs what Tonya had.

    Tonya was robbed of the 92 Olympic gold by being forced to stay home too late. She said so herself. I can post the documentary where she confirms all the things I mentioned happened to her, and her saying them. Kristi and Midori made mistakes there so a clean or almost clean Tonya with the triple axel would have beaten them for sure, and based on her 91 National and 91 Skate American performances that is what she would have delivered had she not been jet lagged. USFSA cost her the 92 Olympic gold and may other possible medals/titles too.
  24. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    How did the USFS "force" Tonya to stay home and not go to Albertville early? Seriously? Also, what about those quotes Tonya made about deciding for herself to stay in Portland?

    Tonya had a difficult upbringing, nobody is denying that. However, it would be only telling half the story if you take out the fact that Tonya did a lot of damage to herself and is ultimately responsible for the way her life turned out.
    Vash01 and (deleted member) like this.
  25. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    and what about the overscoring of Kristi and Nancy that Tonya had to face from years. Are you actually disputing those two skaters were heavily overscored over the years. Kristi even had 2 major mistakes in her Olympic free skate and got almost all 5.9s. Nancy at Nationals on year made 2 triples and got mostly 5.8s and 5.9s. People mistakenly think since Nancy was robbed once in her life arguably (94 Olympics) she was undermarked her whole career, when in fact the opposite is true. I cant think of anyone who won more world and Olympic medals with downright poor skates than her. It is funny when people whine about Michelle's silver at the 99 worlds (which I disagreed with too, but didnt complain like some others in the thread like it was the worst thing ever) when Nancy won medals at the 92 Olympics and 92 worlds for performances far worse and everyone acts like she deserved them totally. Had Kristi stayed amateur and won every worlds and Olympics until 98 even with her skills declining starting around 95-96, at the time time Chen, Kwan, Butyrskaya, Slutskaya, Lipinski raised the level back up in ladies skating after the post Yamaguchi/Ito period decline, would you still deny she is overscored?

    I will try and find the documentary I spoke of and post the link to it. It is on youtube though. Not only does Tonya confirm she was forced to say home late though, but her coach Diane Rawlinson who is certainly not a liar, and a highly respected figure in the sport, confirms it. Given that even Diane says that, there is no way it isnt true. And the jet lagged-ness cost her the Olympic gold medal. Everyone said pre Games Tonya, Midori, and Kristi would be neck and neck if all 3 were clean and since Midori and Kristi both had major mistakes, it would be the gold for Tonya for sure without the USFSA making her stay home late and preventing the great performances she had done at Skate America and the 91 Nationals (when healthy, she was injured at 92 Nationals but healthy again for the Games but jet lagged).

    BTW watch some tapes of 89 Nationals. Kristi with poor figures, tiny jumps, and back no strong spins, spirals, or artistry like she would develop, and weak basics back then and no strength, speed yet, came from way behind after figures to pass a perfect Tonya with huge jumps, great spins, and at that point even better artistry and basics than Kristi. The USFSA sent a little kid to be 7th at worlds vs someone who could take silver or gold at worlds. At 1990 Nationals when Tonya was sick but still landed only 1 less triples than the mediocre Holly Cook they dump Tonya to 7th and send Cook to worlds instead.
  26. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Tonya is not the only skater in the world who had to beat a skater who was perceived to be a judges' pet. It happens all the time in this sport due to the subjectivity of the scoring. Champions have to rise above, which Tonya did. Tonya became a favored skater after winning Nationals (despite some people within the establishment who probably preferred Kristi) and the judges were willing to reward her. She squandered that opportunity. She was even back in favor in the Fall of 1993 where she skated a beautiful SP at Skate America. She then bombed NHK apparently and then got desperate.

    One thing I hate about the pushing of the narrative of Tonya being unduly marked down and mistreated by the USFS and judges is that it misses the whole story and it usually ends up with a Tonya fan using it as some sort of justification at worst or excuse at best for the whack. Even if we do accept that Tonya had it difficult and she faced more obstacles to overcome compared to the vast majority of skaters, she exhibited a lot of self-destructive behavior throughout her career (and afterwards) and has shown an inability to take responsibility for herself or to learn from her life experience. Yes, the self-destructive behavior was a product of her upbringing and the abuse from her mother. But you can't use it as an excuse for everything and forever after. You can maybe use it as an explanation, but ultimately, Tonya is responsible for however she mishandled her life.
  27. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Oh my God ! Who are you Gabybackhand, to talk like that more than 20 years after Tonya retired ?
  28. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

    Tonya chose to stay home longer before the 92 Olympics. And she has, of course, now changed the story to fit her current "poor, poor, pitiful me" narrative in 2014. Just like her claiming in both 2014 documentaries that Shawn Eckhardt was NEVER her bodyguard before the 94 Olympics, just some creep friend of her husband's (cue the film of her in 1994 introducing Shawn as her bodyguard as they walk along together...)

    Tonya has mainly one person to blame for all her troubles --- HERSELF.
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  29. Xela M

    Xela M Well-Known Member

    Tonya could have become the poster girl for overcoming adversity and I am convinced that she would have been America's no1 sweetheart. The story of a little girl who dreamed big and made it against all odds.

    I don't know whose fault it was, but her incredible talent was certainly wasted. From an outsider's (non-American) point of view, it looks like it was the coach's fault. Her coach should have recognised her remarkable potential and should have rained her in whichever way.

    I don't think a Russian coach would have allowed her all the "artistic freedom" to do what she pleased in her personal life, neglect training or even stay at home before the 1992 Olympics. It just seems bizarre to me that Tonya was allowed to behave that way by her coach(es).
  30. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

    Four Continents?

    Oh, you mean at the Ultimate Bore. ;)

    Well, many of us didn't agree that judging. :D

    What were the judging criteria? Were they supposed to be "pro" rules, where "artistry" is valued more?

    Based on the criteria at the time, yes. But I would say that she paid better attention to what the rules emphasized rather than that she was any more artistic.

    Just curious--was the Ultimate Bore held early in '96 (before Michelle won Worlds) or later?

    Kristi exuded a lot of the same qualities that any teacher's pet would as well. Docile, agreeable, hard-working, obedient, etc.

    Would they have ever won any world or Olympic titles? Probably not. In fact, they likely would have quit school as well.

    Most likely, because Tonya had much more natural talent.

    Yes, please post the documentary--this is the first time I've heard this.

    Well, according to Morry Stillwell, Tonya wasn't practicing all that diligently in Albertville or listening to her coach, but rather spending far too much time schmoozing with reporters. Obviously, I wasn't there, so I can't say for sure, but it sounds believable.