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Tai Babilonia

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Tai Reina Babilonia (born September 22, 1959) is a U.S. Figure skater, the partner of Randy Gardner. They began skating together when Babilonia was only 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).

Babilonia has a son, Scout Gabriel (born in February 1995), with her ex-husband Cary Butler, whom she married in 1992 and divorced in 1997. She is engaged to comedian David Brenner.

In 2008, Babilonia and Gardner announced their retirement from professional figure skating due to a neck injury suffered by Gardner and their advancing ages. In retirement, she is living in Ashland, Oregon.

Competitive highlightsEdit

(with Gardner)

1974

  • U.S. Championships - 2nd
  • World Championships - 10th

1975

  • U.S. Championships - 2nd
  • World Championships - 10th

1976

  • U.S. Championships - 1st
  • Olympics - 5th
  • World Championships - 5th

1977

  • U.S. Championships - 1st
  • World Championships - 3rd

1978

  • U.S. Championships - 1st
  • World Championships - 3rd

1979

  • U.S. Championships - 1st
  • World Championships - 1st

1980

  • U.S. Championships - 1st

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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