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The Tonya and Nancy Figure Skating Scandal


Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding at the 1994 Olympics

Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding at the 1994 Olympics

Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

About the Tonya and Nancy 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.

"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.  Twenty years later, in early 2014, two more documentaries brought the incident back into the public's eye.

About Tonya Harding:

It is said that Tonya Harding may perhaps be the most controversial person in figure skating history. Some of the highlights of Tonya Harding's competitive career include:

  • 4th - 1992 Olympics
  • 2nd - 1991 Worlds
  • 1st - 1991 US Nationals

Harding also won the United States National Figure Skating Championships in 1994, but all records of her winning that title have been erased.

About Nancy Kerrigan:

Nancy Kerrigan won the bronze medal in 1992 and the silver medal in 1994 in women's figure skating at the Olympics. She also was the U.S. Ladies Champion in 1993.

Nancy Kerrigan Famous Quote:

After she was attacked in 1994, Nancy Kerrigan said, "Why me? Why, why, why?"

"Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera":

"Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera," produced in February of 2008, was an expanded version of "Tonya and Nancy: The Opera" which was an original one-act chamber opera. Both productions are based on the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan 1994 figure skating scandal.

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