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LaVona Golden
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    When Tonya was practicing and wanted to rest or take a bathroom break, she would yell, ‘I paid for you to practice, so you’re going to stay on the ice and practice.’
    As a result, more than once five-year-old Tonya ended up urinating on the ice.
    During practices, she would scream critiques of Tonya’s performance, with one rink owner noting that she ‘had the vocabulary of a truck driver.’
    Tonya claimed that if she did not skate well enough in practice, her mother would drag her to the bathroom and ‘beat my butt until it was black and blue.’
    She instilled a ‘win at any cost’ mentality in her daughter. (Said one of Tonya’s cousins, ‘All her life, her mother told her if you weren’t good enough for first, you weren’t good enough for anything.’)
    ’I, Tonya’ screenwriter Steven Rogers said, ‘The only thing Jeff [Gillooly, Tonya’s ex-husband] and Tonya agreed on – and they agreed on nothing – was how bad LaVona was.’
    She saw Tonya’s figure skating as a way for her to escape poverty, saying, ‘I just wanted her to not have I life like I had.’
    She hand sewed Tonya’s costumes because she could not afford to buy them.
    She denied Tonya’s claims of repeated abuse, saying she struck her only once on the arm with a hairbrush.
    She said, ‘I did the very best I could as a mother. I still love her. I always will.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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