Tai Babilonia

Tai Babilonia

Figure Skater
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Tai Babilonia

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Description:
Tai Reina Babilonia (born September 22, 1959 in Los Angeles, California) is a retired American pair skater. With partner Randy Gardner, she was the 1979 World Champion and the 1976-1980 U.S. national champion.

Career

Babilonia & Gardner began skating together when Babilonia was eight years old and Gardner was ten. Their coach was John Nicks. The pair were five-time gold medalists at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and won the gold medal at the 1979 World Figure Skating Championships. They were medal favorites at the 1980 Olympics but were forced to withdraw due to an injury to Gardner.

Babilonia was the first figure skater of partial African American descent to win U.S. and World titles. She is also part Filipino on her father's side and part Native American. In the late 70's and early 80's, however, her mixed ethnic ancestry was rarely discussed by the media.

While skating as a professional, Babilonia became addicted to amphetamines and alcohol and attempted suicide via an overdose of sleeping pills in the fall of 1988. After receiving treatment, she returned to the ice.

Babilonia appeared in the 2006 FOX television program "Skating with Celebrities", partnered with Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner (Decathlon).

In 2008, Babilonia and Gardner announced...
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