Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan: Where Are the Former Skaters Now?

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan: Where Are the Former Skaters Now?
From TIME - December 7, 2017

More than two decades ago, former American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee while training to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics in a scandal that captivated the nation and ensnared her biggest rival, Tonya Harding.

An assailant, hired by Hardings ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, struck Kerrigan on the right knee with a baton after practice at a Detroit ice rink on Jan. 6, 1994. The attack left the gold medal favorite wailing and repeatedly howling Why? on the floor as doctors tended to her injuries, according to footage of the immediate aftermath.

Kerrigan went on to become a two-time Olympic medalist and recently competed on ABCs Dancing With the Stars, while Hardingwhose troubled past is the subject of the upcoming biopic I, Tonya that stars Margot Robbiehas mostly stayed out of the spotlight.

Ahead of the big screen debut of I, Tonya on Friday, heres a look at where Harding, now 47, and Kerrigan, 48, are today:

Tonya Harding in 2017

After she was permanently banned from competing in amateur skating competitions following Kerrigans attack, Harding briefly dabbled in boxing around 2004 and released The Tonya Tapes, a book about her tumultuous life and upbringing, in 2008. Being afraid to open up and talk to someone is really difficult, she told the Associated Press when the book was published. That was another reason I wanted to finish the book, to get rid of my past, dealing with everything, the ups and downs, for a fresh start in the future.

In 1994, Harding pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder the prosecution of the attack on Kerrigan, although she has denied any role in the attack itself. She was sentenced to three years probation and had to pay a $100,000 fine as well as resign from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

While she has largely maintained her privacy in recent years, Harding spoke about the notorious attack on Kerrigan during a 2009 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Harding told the TV host she has moved on and extended warm regards to Kerrigan.

If shed let me, Id love to give her a hug and just tell her how proud I am of her being able to go forward with her life, Harding said of Kerrigan. Shes moved on. Ive moved on. Its part of history that will always be with us. But Im also noted as the one and only American woman that did the first triple Axel and those are the things that no one can take away from me.

The former skater also said her biggest regret was being married for the first time to an idiot and said she wished she could have had a more stable life growing up. She has said her mother was abusive.

Nancy Kerrigan in 2017


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