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Tonya Harding - Perhaps the Most Controversial Person in Figure Skating History

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Tonya Harding

Tonya Harding in action during the United States figure skating championships.

Mike Powell/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan 1991 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships

Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan 1991 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships

Mike Powell/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

"Tonya and Nancy" - Famous Figure Skating Scandal:

Just before the 1994 Olympics, right after a practice session at the United States National Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Michigan, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and hit hard with a hard object on her knee. The accident made it impossible for her to compete and Tonya Harding won the Championship Ladies event.

Shortly after that, it was alleged that Tonya Harding might have been part of the conspiracy to hurt Nancy. Tonya was banned from U.S. Figure Skating for life.

Date and Place of Birth:

Tonya Harding was born on November 12, 1970 in Portland, Oregon.

Began to Skate:

Tonya began to skate when she was only three years old.

Coaches and Training:

Tonya's main coach was Diane Rawlinson. She trained at the Lloyd Center Mall Ice Rink in Portland.

First Triple Jump:

Tonya Harding landed her first triple jump at the age of eight.

Triple Axel:

Tonya was the first female skater from the United States to land a Triple Axel in competition.

"Tonya and Nancy" and the Media:

The "Kerrigan Attack" increased the popularity of figure skating. A novel was written, followed by a musical play, and a few television movies were made about the incident.

Tonya Harding - Professional Boxer:

Tonya Harding began boxing professionally in 2002. She continues to box professionally.

Competition Highlights:

  • 4th - 1992 Olympics
  • 2nd - 1991 Worlds
  • 1st - 1991 US Nationals
  • (Tonya also won the United States Nationals in 1994, but all records of her winning that title have been erased.)
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