Yesterday I reviewed The Tonya Tapes and wrote that regardless of whether I believed Tonya Harding's story of what transpired at the 1994 U.S. Championships in Detroit, what she knew, when she knew it -- at the end of the day, a tremendous gift was wasted. Sort of reminded me of Christopher Bowman in that a potential was never fulfilled and it's such a loss for the person as well as the rest of us.
Can you imagine Tonya teaching skating clinics, being a commentator, skating in benefit galas, and who knows what else? Her impact on the skating world would have been newsworthy. I don't know if that will ever happen for her. Some philosophers think that things in your life must happen a certain way and we don't have any control over the outcome. Hm...I hope they're right in Tonya's case because she's still young (37) and if all this had to happen this way, then she still has many many years of life to do and act positive.
With Tonya's celebrity boxing matches and wrestling and other nonskating stories, let's look back at the 1991 U.S. Championships where she became the first American woman to land the triple axel, nailed all the other triple jumps, skated a perfect program, and won the competition. I wonder if Tonya views her past performances or if she has closed that part of her life because it is too intertwined with everything negative that came in 1994. For the rest of us, this program is a jumping clinic and I do get a little sad watching this phenomenal talent, knowing that three years later, her skating life would begin unraveling and ultimately be gone.