Move over, Tonya, Tomba's crashing the party

February 19, 1994|By JOHN EISENBERG

LILLEHAMMER 94 — LILLEHAMMER, Norway -- Tonya Harding, the legal pit bull of the U.S. Olympic Team, said thanks to God for answering her prayers and giving her the chance to compete in the Games of Lillehammer.

Alberto Tomba, the famously nocturnal Italian skier, said that he had brought his own condoms from home.

Tonya Harding said that she believed most of the people in the United States were cheering for her.

Alberto Tomba said that he hoped the parties in the Olympic village would start getting better soon.

Tonya Harding said that she really couldn't comment about the fact that she had lied to the FBI.

Alberto Tomba said that he really couldn't comment on why Katarina Witt should find him attractive.

Tonya Harding thanked the wonderful people of Norway for their wonderful country.

Alberto Tomba said that, you know, frankly, it was not terriblywarm here.

Tonya Harding said that she was practicing hard in hopes of skating the performance of her life.

Alberto Tomba said that he would make sure and drink a glass of wine before his races.

Tonya Harding said that even though she has signed a deal with "Inside Edition," she was not profiting from an unfortunate situation.

Alberto Tomba said that he thought Katarina Witt was a nice girl, a sweet girl, and they probably could have a good time together.

Tonya Harding said that she really couldn't comment on a news report that she had failed a couple of polygraph tests.

Alberto Tomba said that he really couldn't comment on which was the best nightclub in Lillehammer.

Tonya Harding said that she had a great, great deal of respect for Nancy Kerrigan.

Alberto Tomba invited everyone to his house after the Olympics to drink from his wine collection.

Tonya Harding said that she considered herself a winner just because she was here.

Alberto Tomba told a Japanese reporter that he would be happy to cook up a plate of spaghetti for her at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, where, he added, he will be very retired from skiing.

Tonya Harding said that it was a shame that her case was detracting from the other wonderful Olympic action.

Alberto Tomba said that he had only been at the Games for a day and already had gotten 33 messages on his personal computer billboard, wink, wink.

Tonya Harding said that she had a friendly exchange with Kerrigan in the Olympic village and their relationship was a personal thing between them.

Alberto Tomba said that, as far as the Olympic village was concerned, talk to him at the end of the Games and maybe he would have, you know, a few good stories.

Tonya Harding said that she had filed a lawsuit to compete in the Olympics because she wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Alberto Tomba said that, regarding this debate about whether it was better for his training to be out with four women until 2 a.m. or two women until 4 a.m., he had decided that one woman at a time was enough.

Tonya Harding said that she really couldn't comment on whether she had lied to the press about her smoking.

Alberto Tomba said that, just as he suggested calling the last Olympic host city Albertoville after he won there, they could rename this one LilleTomba when he wins another gold medal.

Tonya Harding said that the main lesson she had learned from Skategate was to rely on her country and her teammates.

Alberto Tomba said that of course he started to train seriously the day before a race.

Tonya Harding said that she just wanted to be judged fairly and winthe gold if she skated the best.

Alberto Tomba stopped just short of calling himself one of the three greatest skiers in history.

Tonya Harding said that the ovarian cyst that was giving her a problem a month ago was now doing much better.

Alberto Tomba said that sometimes he got his Olympic medals out to look at them and that, no, they weren't the last ones he'd win.

Tonya Harding said that, regarding her reaction to these nude photos of her showing up in print and on TV, try putting yourself in her shoes. (Go ahead, try.)

Alberto Tomba said that sometimes it was just hard to drive at posted speeds.

Tonya Harding said that, regardless of what any other American skaters said, she felt warmly accepted by her teammates.

Alberto Tomba said that he would just hit back if some goon took a club and whacked him on the knee.

Tonya and Tomba.

They went back-to-back in the Olympic press room yesterday in an inadvertently brilliant piece of interview scheduling.

Tonya lost.

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