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Thread: Tonya Harding's presentation

  1. #16
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    I agree with you about athletic artistry. However it seems that judges exert a lot of influence in the programs that a skater skates. In Christine Brennan's books, skaters were quoted on how judges were up their butts for them to change their outfits and programs etc (wear more pink was the advice given to Elaine Zayak) so skaters probably feel a lot of pressure to conform. The ones that don't follow the advice may wind up hammered in the presentation mark.

  2. #17
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    Elvis was one skater who really seemed to use his athleticism as part of his artistry--the Bruce Lee program, etc. He knew he wasn't built like a ballet dancer and he didn't try to pretend.

    I was never really a huge fan of Tonya or Nancy (I loved Kristi--her 'Malaguena' program is one of my all time favorites). To me, Nancy was a bit boring to watch, as I recall--I haven't watched her skate recently. But she did a good job of fitting into the mold--she got her teeth capped, had the good girl image, the Vera Wang dresses. Her graceful build probably helped too.

    Tonya seemed like she was desperately trying to be graceful but not really succeeding. I don't think she would have a chance today, even against the "less artistic" skaters such as Irina. Her spirals were terrible, no back arch at all. Her layback position, especially the free leg, was poor. Her footwork was pretty easy. Maybe if she tried a more athletic version of artistry she would have done better. But I still think she would have needed to improve a lot of her positions.

  3. #18
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    I'll agree that Tonya's "graceful, balletic" programs were unconvincing. I remember her SP from the 1992 Worlds. I think she was so disappointed by having finished 4th in Albertville that she was trying to conform. She put together that "Moon River" (I think it was "Moon River") SP in the month after the Olympics and it just seemed so non-Tonya and almost cumbersome. A lot of that probably had to do with the fact that it was such a new and unseasoned program, but still I was just not impressed. Her SP from the 90-91 season was powerful and simple....very Tonya. I also prefered her "Much Ado About Nothing" SP from the 93-94 season. I think it was a step towards pleasing the judges, but it didn't go so far as to strip away what made Tonya unique.

  4. #19
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    I remember that "Moon River" program (yes, it was "Moon River"); my reaction at the time was, you're kidding, right???

  5. #20
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Her 1987 gala When you wish upon a Star was very good. And Send in the Clowns worked for her. It was obvious from the way she skated it that she thought it represented her whole life, and explains a lot.

    She had one of the most gorgeous Ina Bauer's ever. Her layback was great. She was pre the spiral sequence requirement for the best part of her career and I don't think had the flexibility to do a Bobekian spiral.

    She had some very clever and interesting spins, including the first of the Kwan heart layback type that I ever saw.

    Her ZZtop short program was excellent.

    She was totally robbed in Baltimore Nationals. Here she was doing 3Lz's and the rest weren't at that point (Kristi was still in juniors). She should definitely have been 2nd and gone to world's then.

    I miss her skating and wish that her life wasn't such a mess.

    The athlete/artist thing was a morality play that the US commentators just had to have to build up a competition. It was ridiculous, and left them to cast Nancy as the artist when a better characterization was athlete vs. athlete, as Nancy's claim to fame was being the first to land a 3toe/3toe.

  6. #21
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    Tonya was a wonderfully powerful skater. She had great height and spring in her triple jumps. Also, she covered alot of ice when she jumped. Her triples didn't just go way up; they traveled far across the ice, too.

    Tonya could be somewhat unsophisticated in her choice of costume, music, etc. But she was quite musical when she skated to a piece that suited her. She did well with energetic jazz, rock, or funk type music--something with a driving beat that brought out her athleticism and energy. "Moon River" was a mistake; she couldn't have picked a less suitable piece of music unless she'd chosen to skate to "Feelings".


    There was something unbridled and free-spirited about Tonya that could be very appealing. If only she could have channeled those qualities in more positive, constructive ways. Things might have turned out different for her. *sigh*

  7. #22
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    I have to say her jumps were a wonder to behold. She had one of the most incredible triple Lutzes, and I mean LUTZ, I have ever seen.

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