Excerpt from The Tonya Tapes
Enjoying a popularity without precedent, the figure skating boom would continue for the next four years, but by the spring of 1999, interest in the sport was on the decline, and many assumed Tonya was invited to the nationally televised ESPN professional competition in October of that same year to give figure skating a much-needed ''shot in the arm.' Indeed, upon attending the high security event in Huntington, West Virginia, I witnessed the intense media coverage where some 48 news agencies had sent reporters to cover the competition. Vying with each other for interviews and photographs of Tonya were the usual tabloid media, including Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight along with the more established press such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and CNN. Even Europe had dispatched people to report on the notorious skater's return to the ice.