Tai Babilonia

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Tai Babilonia
Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner 1983 Paraguay stamp.jpg
Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner
Personal information
Full nameTai Reina Babilonia
Country representedUnited States
Born (1959-09-22) September 22, 1959 (age 59)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Height1.59 m (5 ft 3 in)
Former partnerRandy Gardner
Former coachJohn Nicks
Skating clubLos Angeles FSC

Tai Reina Babilonia (born September 22, 1959) is an American former pair skater. Together with Randy Gardner, she won the 1979 World Figure Skating Championships and five U.S. Figure Skating Championships (1976–1980). The pair qualified for the 1976 and 1980 Winter Olympics.[1]


Babilonia and Gardner began skating together when Babilonia was eight years old and Gardner was ten.[2] Their coach from 1972 until 1980 was John Nicks. The pair became five-time U.S. national champions and won the gold medal at the 1979 World Championships.[3][4] They were medal favorites at the 1980 Winter Olympics but were forced to withdraw due to an injury to Gardner.[1][2][5]

Babilonia was the first figure skater of partial African American descent to compete for the United States at Olympics and win world titles. She is also part Filipino on her father's side and part Native American.[1][6]

In 1990, a biographical film of her rise to fame was aired on television, "On Thin Ice: The Tai Babilonia Story".[7]

Babilonia appeared in the 2006 Fox television program Skating with Celebrities, partnered with Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner.

Tai and Randy also appeared on an episode of Hart to Hart "Silence Dance" (season 5 episode 16) in 1984. Tai currently appears as a "co-host" with host Ken Boxer on the television interview talk show, "Ken Boxer Live." The show originates in Santa Barbara, California on TVSB Channel 17.


Tai Babilonia was inspired at the age of six to begin ice skating after watching Peggy Fleming on television. Babilonia has a son named Scout with former husband Cary Butler. She was engaged for several years to actor/comedian David Brenner, but they never married before their breakup in 2009. Was also romantically linked to longtime radio personality Ken Strode. [8]

Competitive highlights[edit]

(with Gardner)

Event 1973–74 1974–75 1975–76 1976–77 1977–78 1978–79 1979–80
Winter Olympic Games 5th WD
World Championships 10th 10th 5th 3rd 3rd 1st
U.S. Championships 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Nebelhorn Trophy 1st
Coupe des Alpes 3rd
WD = Withdrew



  1. ^ a b c Tai Babilonia. Sports-reference
  2. ^ a b Elliott, Helene (March 20, 2008). "Tai and Randy's bond is sure and steady off the ice". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ "World Figure Skating Championships Results: Pairs medalists" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "Past U.S. Champions - Senior" (PDF). Excel Energy Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Rosewater, Amy (January 14, 2013). "A life in skating: An interview with John Nicks". IceNetwork.
  6. ^ Notable Filipinos Worldwide. notablefilipinos.com
  7. ^ On Thin Ice: The Tai Babilonia Story (1990). IMDb
  8. ^ Vultaggio, Maria (March 16, 2014). "Tai Babilonia Remembers David Brenner After Some Confuse Her For His Wife". International Business Times. IBT Media. Retrieved October 30, 2016.

External links[edit]