While the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games air around the world and with the release of ‘I, Tonya’ in 2017 you can’t help but to think about the infamous olympic figure skater that is Tonya Harding who became an overnight household name in the 1991 US Championships by being the first female figure skater to land a triple axel.
Harding had a promising future with her extreme talent and hunger for figure skating, unaware of the drastic changes her life would undergo after being part of a scandal that rocked the whole entire world.
Before the scandal even happened, Harding was known for her strong attitude and personality. She was far from the cookie cutter olympic skater that people were used to seeing, which added much more pressure for her to prove everyone wrong including her parents, who she publicly spoke about and stated how their relationship was not the best.
The only thing that was standing in her way was her rival Nancy Kerrigan. But all of that was soon to change, or at least Harding thought. In January 1994, Harding’s then husband, Jeff Gillooly, hired a man to attack Nancy Kerrigan and attempt to break her legs. The aftermath of the attack was caught on camera.
Kerrigan’s attack became a crippling scandal and shocked everyone around the world. It was even more shocking when it was revealed that Harding’s husband was responsible for it. Although Harding herself denied any involvement and still pleaded guilty having to pay a fine, complete community service hours, and received three years or probation.
Harding also had to withdraw from the 1994 World Figure Skating Championships and resign from the United States Figure Skating Association. It didn’t stop there, the organization also stripped her of her 1994 Championships title and banned her for life.
Kerrigan was not severely injured, she successfully recovered and rejoined the championship. Although all the efforts to take Kerrigan out of the competition, Harding did not win while Kerrigan won a silver medal.
Harding recently revealed while doing an interview promoting ‘I, Tonya,’ that she may have heard a conversation with her now ex-husband possibly planning an attack on a competitor.
This by far is one of the most interesting scandals that have ever been covered by the media. What are your thoughts?