View Poll Results: Who is/was the most controversial skater of all time?

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  • Tonya Harding

    48 54.55%
  • Surya Bonaly

    20 22.73%
  • Christopher Bowman

    1 1.14%
  • Nicole Bobek

    0 0%
  • Toller Cranston

    4 4.55%
  • Johnny Weir

    8 9.09%
  • Gary Beacom

    2 2.27%
  • Lloyd Eisler

    0 0%
  • Other (Please Specify)

    5 5.68%
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Thread: Most Controversial Skater Of All Time

  1. #1
    Former figure skater and HUGE figure skating fan. n_halifax's Avatar
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    Most Controversial Skater Of All Time

    Who is the most controversial skater of all time?

  2. #2
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    Bonaly, by far.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Wolfgang Schwarz
    World gold medallist
    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Schwarz[/url]

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    Eville Eastern Bloc Poster
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    Michelle Kwan!

  5. #5
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    That's an interesting question. "Controversy" usually means there are two sides to the question, each with its vehement partisans. I don't think there is any "controversy" associated with Tonya Harding. She was a talented skater who, alas, fell in with the wrong crowd. Christopher Bowman was a talented skater who could not overcome addiction to drugs, alchohol and self-destructive behavior.

    I do not see anything controversial about Lloyd Eisler. He's a scum-bag. What's the controversy? Doris' candidate, Wolfgang Schwarz, is an outright criminal.

    I agree with Imaginary Pogue that Surya Bonaly was controversial. Some people think she was a bad sport and a spoiled brat for not accepting the silver medal at 2004 Worlds. Others feel equally strongly that she finally got tired of being screwed over, and she rightly stood up for herself.

    Gary Beamon was controversial off the ice because he refused on principle to pay taxes, and (like Thoreau) went to jail for it. Was he a silly screw-up or an heroic civil libertarian?

    Toller Cranston is an interesting case. The "controversy" was not about his off ice behavior, but about his art. At the time it was like, what??! Now there is a pretty broad consensus that he was an artistic genius twenty years ahead of his time.

    I guess I have to go along with Germanice, but much more mildly. Some people (like me) just eat the girl up with their big Michelle-love spoon. Others, zzzzzzz. So I gues her skating is "controversial," in that sense.
    Last edited by Mathman; 01-19-2010 at 11:25 AM.

  6. #6
    Custom Title skatemom1122's Avatar
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    How could it not be Harding? From the Kerrigan hit to the skate lace breaking to her mysterious death threats to her absurd boxing career, Tonya Harding tops the list.

  7. #7
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemom1122 View Post
    How could it not be Harding? From the Kerrigan hit to the skate lace breaking to her mysterious death threats to her absurd boxing career, Tonya Harding tops the list.
    I agree. I was shocked to see there is actually a debate over this. Tonya of course!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That's an interesting question. "Controversy" usually means there are two sides to the question, each with its vehement partisans. I don't think there is any "controversy" associated with Tonya Harding. She was a talented skater who, alas, fell in with the wrong crowd. Christopher Bowman was a talented skater who could not overcome addiction to drugs, alchohol and self-destructive behavior.

    I do not see anything controversial about Lloyd Eisler. He's a scum-bag. What's the controversy? Doris' candidate, Wolfgang Schwarz, is an outright criminal.

    I agree with Imaginary Pogue that Surya Bonaly was controversial. Some people think she was a bad sport and a spoiled brat for not accepting the silver medal at 2004 Worlds. Others feel equally strongly that she finally got tired of being screwed over, and she rightly stood up for herself.
    I agree with MM,espcially the bolded part... Tonya made bad choices - regardless of if that choice was "sounds like a plan to me!" or "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil"

    But Surya - I clapped when she refused the medal and I still think of her example when faced with an injustice that gives me the choice of staying quiet or standing up for myself. Toni does not agree. Life lessons through sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by skatemom1122 View Post
    How could it not be Harding? From the Kerrigan hit to the skate lace breaking to her mysterious death threats to her absurd boxing career, Tonya Harding tops the list.
    Kerrigan, yes. Lace breaking, no - that was karma. Death threats, maybe. Boxing career? Hey, a girl's got to eat.

  9. #9
    Former figure skater and HUGE figure skating fan. n_halifax's Avatar
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    I think Nicole's certainly one not to overlook in this category. In the span of fifteen or sixteen years, she won a U.S. National title, a world bronze medal, got charged with home invasion, went to the Olympics, chain smoked, toured with Champions On Ice and got busted for selling meth.

  10. #10
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n_halifax View Post
    I think Nicole's certainly one not to overlook in this category. In the span of fifteen or sixteen years, she won a U.S. National title, a world bronze medal, got charged with home invasion, went to the Olympics, chain smoked, toured with Champions On Ice and got busted for selling meth.
    no, sorry you ex-husband whacking your opponent tops all of that and more.

  11. #11
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwanford Wife View Post
    Toni does not agree. Life lessons through sport.
    yes, life lessons... there's nothing wrong with sportsmanship... ever. there are other ways of standing up for yourself without throwing a tantrum.


    hey, you started it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    yes, life lessons... there's nothing wrong with sportsmanship... ever. there are other ways of standing up for yourself without throwing a tantrum.


    hey, you started it.
    But that's exactly my point. I don't think Surya was a good sport about losing. But at the same time, when was the best time to finally cry b*******? Life lessons aren't always pretty or easy. Its a matter of personal choice. For me the lesson was: stand your ground, even if it's not popular or considered "proper." But that's who I am... and I get into trouble for it. But at the end of the day, the only person's opinion about me that matters is mine (and my mom... but she's a piece of work) and I'd rather be authetic than polite. But I'm also a lawyer, so unlike Surya, I don't get undermarked for my personality...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    I agree. I was shocked to see there is actually a debate over this. Tonya of course!!
    Because there's no debate about her actions - there's no two sides to it. Controversy needs that, for me, or it's just bad actions and/or empty provocation.

  14. #14
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Because there's no debate about her actions - there's no two sides to it. Controversy needs that, for me, or it's just bad actions and/or empty provocation.

    I know, I've seen that argument. I can kind of see the point. But Tonya always denied she had previous knowledge of the whack heard round the world and some people, though very very few, defended her. So there were two sides, even though the overwhelming majority was on one.

    But if we do count Tonya out I say we also count Bobeck out because both were just bad girls whose actions, as you are arguing, are indisputably naughty.

    In that case, I agree with other posters here that Bonaly takes the title. Although Weir has been putting up a good fight for it recently.

  15. #15
    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    I'm not going to vote in this poll, but I admit I can find a place of respect for Surya. I also don't believe she was just a bad sport about losing in and of itself--I think she sincerely believed she was being unfairly screwed over.

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