Kim's Huntington Story
Hello everyone, I'm back! Tonya was AWESOME.
We finally arrived in Huntington after an 11-hour drive. We (meaning me and mom, who is better known to Tonya as “East Coast Mama”). We were tired, hungry and cold we just wanted to sleep. We arrived at Tonya and Linda's hotel around 8pm. When we got there, Tonya and Linda were sitting in the eating area talking. They were getting ready to call and see where we were. Well needless to say we all hugged. Tonya wanted us to go to her room where we could talk without anyone listening in. I told Tonya it was a good thing I liked her because I will never do that drive again.
The 4 of us sat and talked for a while. From Tonya's room I called
Stacey to let her know that we made it ok. When Tonya found out who was on the phone she got on and talked. Also I gave Tonya the messages that people wrote and she said to thank everyone, so ‘Thank you’ from Tonya.
Everyone was pretty tired so we only stayed about an hour. Before going to our hotel Linda took some pics (you'll see them soon).
The next morning we talked on the phone. Around lunchtime Linda and I went out shopping while Tonya stayed back to take a nap. I don't think she slept because she was so keyed up for the comp. She was a little nervous but not too bad. When we got back from shopping Tonya was just sitting around so I stayed for a while and the 3 of us just talked. When I left Tonya and Linda were going to rest, they were both tired because of all the interviews.
Around 4pm Tonya went to practice. I'm told she had a good practice. I'm also friends with one of the judges and she let me know how Tonya did. She told me that everyone was very glad to see Tonya and they all were hugging her and welcoming her back. That meant everything to Tonya. After practice I talked to Tonya via the phone. I think the nerves were starting to kick in. Not knowing what to expect at the comp itself.
When Tonya began her warm-up the crowd was yelling her name, they were so happy to see her. When Tonya finally took to the ice for her program the crowd gave her a standing ovation. She was so filled with emotion. For me it was so emotional to finally see this. This was not Tonya Harding (figure skater) it was Tonya (friend). They announced her as 2 time Olympian, National Champion and World Silver Medallist TONYA HARDING. She did her program and fell a couple of times but still got another standing ovation. It was just so great to see her back on the ice. Tonya was the last skater of the night. The way I see it is they saved the BEST for last. Her outfit was beautiful Turquoise with some purple in it. When the scores were posted she got very good marks for Artistry and pretty good marks for Technical. They took her to do more interviews right away.
I went back to the hotel and waited for Tonya and Linda. When they finally arrived Tonya came over and we hugged and I told her she was awesome. She was very proud of how she did and so was everyone else. She had been nervous before going on and now it was finally over. She was in a very good mood the rest of the night. She had to do more interviews so Linda and myself went back to the room and made phone calls. When Tonya got back she was finally able to relax. We talked about how she did and sat and told stories and jokes. Let me tell you, you have to see Tonya tell a joke. She told one and I couldn't stop laughing. No one could sleep because we were so excited. We decided that night that we had all been eating so well that we wanted some junk food for a change, so we made plans for breakfast at McDonalds. Finally about 1:30am I went back to my hotel so they could try and sleep. They had to be up by 6:30 to do more interviews.
After the interviews were over, we had our McDonalds, and boy did it taste good. I didn't stay long because Tonya needed her rest. I went to watch the others practice. At about 3:30 Tonya got there and again they were all hugging her. During practice Linda and I stood by the boards and watched. Tonya looked great. Thank God there was very little media at this practice so she could practice without interruptions.
Afterwards we went to our hotels and ate (or at least I did). When I got back to their room Tonya was very relaxed and I had a really good feeling. I stayed until she started getting ready. I told her to knock ‘em dead. I went to the comp, already in progress. When Tonya arrived and took to the ice for warm-up a lot of people were yelling "We
Love You Tonya"; "We Love You Tonya Harding". She was wearing a beautiful white and black outfit. It was a little plain but looked great on her. During the warm-up Liz gave Tonya a hug. I hope they show that on TV, it was so cute. When Tonya was announced again as the ONLY
American woman to do a Triple Axel, the crowd was roaring, that's who they were there to see. I was on the phone with Greg (Tonya's
Godfather) so he could hear it "Live". I did this for the first program too. When the music started so did she. She was doing every jump, every spin perfectly. I was screaming in Greg's ear (Greg I am sorry) but he was loving it. It was the next best thing to being there. When the music went fast she had the crowd in the palm of her hands. When she hit the last pose I was really screaming and jumping. If you see this short person jumping everywhere it was me. She got another standing ovation. It was he first of the night, and she was one of only two who got them. After her program she went right to Linda and I thought she was never going to stop hugging her. They were both so happy. When the marks came up they were 9.8's and 9.6's. They took her right away to do more interviews so she couldn't watch the rest of the skaters. Tonia then skated and I knew our Tonya beat her. Then came Rory. This one was close. After Surya you knew she won because she was so far ahead in the first program. They took a few minutes and then announced the winners from fifth to first - Liz Manley, Tonia Kwiatkowski, Rory Burghart, TONYA HARDING and Surya Bonaly. When Tonya went back to the ice, Rory, Tonia and Liz all hugged her. It was so great to see that. When Surya came out they got in a group hug.
Tonya Harding did it. She proved she still has it. She skated this comp for her fans and she didn't let anyone down. This being for the fans you can now see what they mean to her. When I got backstage she was beaming. We hugged and she said, “Kim, I did it.” I told her that I never doubted her. She had to do more interviews so I waited at the hotel.
There were a lot of people waiting to see her. She didn't get done till around 1am. While at the room she said she would never forget this comp or the people of Huntington. When she asked me what it was like to
Watch I couldn't answer because I was still numb. I still can't describe it. We sat and talked till about 2:30. I finally left because we all had to get up early.
Wednesday morning I went to see them off. I hated for it to end. We had such a good time talking and we became a lot closer. I don't think any of us will forget those few days.
Before I sign off I would like to say Huntington, WV - my hat goes off to you. You are some of the greatest fans a person could have. Michael Rosenberg - thank you for having faith and believing in Tonya. Linda and Tonya- well, you gals know how I feel. Thank you for all the memories. I'm sorry I couldn’t make it to Larry King but I will see you soon. Tonya, I am keeping my promise to take care. I Love You Linda and Tonya. Last but not least Stacey - thank you so much for everything you have done. This site could not survive without you. Thank you for keeping everyone posted. You’re the GREATEST. O.K. people now let me hear your stories.