Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Though she'’s won many national and international medals during her years as a top ranked skater, Tonia Kwiatkowski confesses,

"Probably my favorite skating title is 1996 U.S. Silver Medalist. I have such fond memories from that National Championship. I had such a GREAT week of skating in San Jose. I skated a clean Short and Long Program at the most important championship of the year! Also, the Long Program fell on one of my coaches;’ birthdays, so that made it even more special to skate as well as I did.

"After the 1994 season, I decided to stay in for one year, then one more, then the Olympics were only two years away so I decided to stay in through 1998. After not making the Olympic Team, I was disappointed but continued to train, being the alternate. I am so glad that I did because I got to go to Worlds that year and had a 6th place finish which was my highest at Worlds. I retired from eligible competition after the 1998 season. I was already 27 years old (the old lady of the bunch) and just knew it was time to move on. I was hoping to do shows, tours and made-for-TV events. I did quite a few of all of these events and have really enjoyed them."

Having competed at 13 U.S. Championships, Tonia is justified in exclaiming,

"“I have many favorite eligible skating memories, it is hard to pick just one! I guess it would have to be at the 1998 World Championships at the end of my long program. I had skated really well and had a standing ovation. I knew it was the end of my eligible career. It was a GREAT feeling to end it that way. My favorite professional skating memory is just as hard!! I would have to say the Kristi Yamaguchi Friends and Family Show from last year when I dedicated my skating to my daughter. I skated to "In My Daughter's Eyes" and enjoyed every minute of my skate for her. At the present time I still skate in a few shows here and there and mostly coach full-time. I have a lot of wonderful kids that I work with and I enjoy still being involved in the sport. I have been married for seven years to David Ralls and we have an eighteen month old daughter named Madison.

"I would love to thank all my fans for all of their support and good wishes throughout the years. I have been so blessed to be able to do what I love and to bring enjoyment to others through my skating."


  • At May 13, 2007 1:12 AM, Edelweiss said…

    What unostentatious class she had. Where are all the skaters like that now? Even Kwan doesn't quite reach this level--such a to-do is made of her "grace", that I always feel she's too self-conscious of it, that it's not an innate modesty anymore. The old Soviet skaters had a mystery and a dignity that even they have lost--thanks to "Pasha" , Oksana Bauil, et al. Is it all the money they can make these days, or is it that the competitors are getting younger and younger, is it that they feel they must "express themselves" rather than get out there and skate a clean program and show that they have mastered the elements? I don't know, but I miss the traditional skaters. I know they didn't have the "flash" of the more recent ones, but they didn't have the degradation either. Torvill and Dean turned ice dancing upside down, it was great when they did it, with style and grace of manner. Then Klimova and Ponomarenko came along and added the drama ON the ice. After these pioneers, it became a joke. Again, I miss the traditional skaters and their aura of either "otherworldliness" (the Soviets) or their unassuming sportsmanship. Maybe it was all a fantasy, but what we didn't know didn't hurt us--or the sport.


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