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  The Ballad of Tonya and Nancy

By Tony Kornheiser
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 27, 1994; Page D1




LILLEHAMMER, Norway — Gather 'round folks, and I'll tell you what's truly

The story this winter, it's about Jeff Gillooly,

Whose ex-wife is Tonya, who's become quite a mess.

If it isn't her skate blades, well then it's her dress

That seems to come off in the most awkward places

The latest affair was about her boot laces.

It's Nancy and Tonya, yes Tonya and Nancy,

Who've captured America's soap opera fancy.

Nancy's the one who succeeds in this tale,

While Tonya's the one who might go to jail.

And then she won't skate out at the mall,

Where the Clackamas K mart is just down the hall,

And eventually if Tonya should come all a cropper

We'll know when we hear: "Attention K mart shoppers."

Who'll do her makeup, who'll work on her grammar

If she's doing a stretch in the Oregon slammer?

Gillooly is going, and Eckhardt, fat foof,

Can you imagine them all underneath the same roof?

I'm sure they'll eventually feel some contrition

We'll be able to see it on "Inside Edition."

It'll take quite some time for them all to be sprung

On visiting days I expect Connie Chung

To interview Tonya and keep us informed

Of the programs she's planning, the short and the long.

And maybe, just maybe, I'm now theorizin',

In Nagano she'll skate in the pairs with Mike Tyson.

It's Nancy and Tonya, yes Tonya and Nancy,

Who've captured America's soap opera fancy.

Now turning attention to Kerrigan's knee

Which got whacked pretty good in the Motor Ci-ty.

Her comeback was golden, most of us reckoned.

It's a shame she got nosed out and only took second.

She skated with elegance, poise and real grace,

She was programmed to show us that smile on her face.

At no time did Nancy resemble a fool,

But she got out-performed by that waif, Ms. Baiul,

Who was perky and campy and flirty and sold

Herself to the crowd — and just 16 years old!

Can you imagine who'll portray Oksana on screen?

Not her, she's too young, but the thought is serene

That the Hollywood moguls would go for a face,

More mature, a bit worldly, with a hint of a trace

Of the pain that a young girl can have — the eyes darting

Oh, sure, as Baiul, I can see Tonya Harding!

It's Nancy and Tonya, yes Tonya and Nancy,

Who've captured America's soap opera fancy.

The two hardly talked in their two weeks in Norway.

Mostly they said, "I'll go mine, you'll go your way."

But the first time they saw each other in Hamar

Not a word was exchanged regarding the slammer.

She walked over to Tonya and told her, "Hello,"

Then offered, "It's been quite a month," don't you know?

And that's about it, according to scriptures.

One last thing, Nancy added, "See you at pictures."

In the U.S. team photo where both smiled like friends,

They're strategically placed at opposite ends.

They never were put in a mano-a-mano

In between were Scott Davis and Brian Boitano.

They practiced together, the luck of the draw.

We wondered if they would go hammer and claw.

So we trekked to the rink, got jammed in like sardines,

All of us questioning what all of it means

To be chasing a story that had as its target

Casual readers at the supermarket

Standing on line to check out what they've bought

Perusing if Nancy and Tonya had fought.

It's Nancy and Tonya, yes Tonya and Nancy,

Who've captured America's soap opera fancy.

They waited two weeks to get into the game.

Through it all Nancy never mentioned the name

Of her rival. Not a "Tonya" fell from her lips.

If you said it, she'd stand there, her hands on her hips

And a scowl on her face as she tossed back her hair

Which, when out of that bun, well, it hangs down to there.

And those teeth, Nancy surely has more teeth than most,

They're so large and so white, they're as white as a ghost.

She wears white on the ice, white suits her the best.

Tonya rarely wears white, except for the dress

That she wore to her wedding, the dress she unzipped

When Jeff focused the camera and said, "Let 'er rip."

Nancy's lovely and really quite bursting with charms.

Whereas Tonya — what's the deal with those underarms?

The night of the final Tonya's life came unglued.

She was panicked and crying, and then she was booed

By the people who'd seen Tonya over and over

Pop a dress, break a lace, and request a do-over.

Tonya has played them so often for fools

That Nancy said angrily, "They're bending the rules."

But she shrugged as if it's just par for the course.

That everyone here would just scream themselves hoarse

And Tonya would still do it all her own way

Which explains why the feelings we're feeling today

Is one skater beloved — on the other we're hazy;

We're afraid that she might, well, she could just go crazy.

And here Nancy sits with her offers aplenty

She sells Campbell's and cameras and pasta al dente.

While Tonya is knee deep in lawyers and threats.

"Knee-deep," that's irony, or couldn't you guess?

Yes, Nancy and Tonya, Tonya and Nancy,

Who've captured America's soap opera fancy.

And kept us intrigued and involved and enraged.

What a shame that they're finally leaving the stage.

© Copyright 1994 The Washington Post Company

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