Tai Reina BABILONIA

United States of America USA

  • Games participations
    2
  • First Olympic Games
    Innsbruck 1976
  • Year of Birth
    1960
Olympic Results

Biography

Tai Reina BABILONIA

Tai Babilonia skated pairs with Randy Gardner. Together they were the US pairs champions from 1976-80. In 1979, they won the World Championships, only the second US pair to ever do so, interrupting the long reign of Irina Rodnina, who had won ten straight World titles (1969-78), first with Aleksey Ulanov, and later with Aleksandr Zaytsev. However, Rodnina and Zaytsev did not compete in 1979 as she was having a baby. But they returned for 1980 and the 1980 battle between the two pairs was expected to be one of the best events at the Lake Placid Olympics. But it never came to be. Gardner pulled a groin muscle in training at Lake Placid. On the day of the competition, he was given a local anaesthetic to kill the pain, but could not control his leg, and after dropping Babilonia several times in warm-ups, they were withdrawn and did not compete.

Babilonia and Gardner had a long professional career together, skating through 2008 when a neck problem of Gardner’s forced their retirement. In 1988 that career was interrupted when Babilonia was found to have an addiction problem with amphetamines and also attempted suicide. After treatment, however, she recovered and they returned to the ice. Babilonia has become active designing her own line of sportswear with Bear Hill Sports, called Tai. She is of mixed Filipino, Native American, and African-America heritage and can be said to be the first African-American to have competed in figure skating at the Olympics for the United States.

GO OLYMPIC. GET ALL THIS.

Free live sport events. Unlimited access to series. Unrivalled Olympic news & highlights.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Lake Placid 1980

#DNS
Pairs
Pairs Figure Skating
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Innsbruck 1976

#5
Pairs
Pairs Figure Skating