Kerrigan before and after

Who is Nancy Kerrigan and where is she now?

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Nancy Kerrigan was born a welder’s daughter on Oct. 13, 1969, in Woburn, Mass. She was a Boston tomboy who played hockey with her brothers and would became one of the most well-known U.S. figure skaters in history.

By the time she was 9, she was skating every day after school.

The story of an attack on Kerrigan in 1994 after a practice session for the U.S. National Championships at Cobo Arena in Detroit would become one of the most stunning, dramatic sports stories.

In 1994, at the age of 24, Kerrigan felt that she was peaking right on schedule for the nationals and the Olympics, that a lifetime of practice and sacrifice was finally going to pay off for her and her family.

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The film ‘I, Tonya,’ starring Margot Robbie focuses on the life figure skater Tonya Harding and her role in the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan in Detroit.

The Kerrigans didn’t have much money. Her father, Dan, had worked extra jobs, taken out loans and refinanced the home to keep his daughter’s Olympic hopes alive.

Her mother, Brenda, was her biggest fan, although she had never seen her daughter skate. A virus stole her eyesight in 1970, shortly after Nancy was born.

But she could sense when Nancy was at her best, and this seemed to be one of those times.

Corporate America sensed it, too. A month before the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and two years after winning the bronze medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, the woman with the Katharine Hepburn cheekbones had already secured endorsements with Reebok, Evian, Seiko and Campbell’s Soup.

Skating magazines featured Kerrigan on the covers of their pre-Olympic editions.

“So beautiful.”

“So elegant.”

“A gold-medal favorite,” the stories said.

But in January 1994, Kerrigan’s Olympic gold medal dreams would be put to the ultimate test.

As Kerrigan walked through a blue curtain into a Cobo Arena hallway that led to the locker room after a practice session, a large man in a black leather coat and black hat ran toward her from behind and whacked her right knee with a metal baton.

“Why me? Why now?” she shrieked as she collapsed to the floor.

Figure skating would never be the same.

Kerrigan’s skating rival Tonya Harding, Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and three of his henchmen were later found guilty of the attack.

The injury knocked Kerrigan out of the national championships, but she was expected to heal in time for the Olympics and was given a spot on the U.S. team.

Tonya Harding faces the media, but didn’t speak, after her interview with the FBI on Jan. 19, 1994 in Portland. Richard Lee/Detroit Free Press U.S. figure skaters Tonya Harding, left, of Portland, Ore., and Nancy Kerrigan, right, of Stoneham, Mass., pose during a photo session at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Saturday, Jan., 8, 1994, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Merlin Summers/Associated Press U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding glides across the ice Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1994, during the technical portion of women’s figure skating competition at the XVII Winter Olympics in Hamar, Norway. Ken Geiger/Dallas Morning News/KRT Tonya Harding barely holds onto her emotions as she stops her routine and heads to the judges stand to plead her case on skate problems she had during the Women’s Figure Skating competition Feb. 25, 1994. Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press Figure skater Tonya Harding appears in Portland, Ore., Jan. 9, 1994, after winning the U.S. figure skating championships in Detroit. Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian/Associated Press Figure skater Tonya Harding sports a new outfit during practice in Portland, Ore., Monday, Mar. 14, 1994. Don Ryan/Associated Press Tonya Harding of Portland, Ore., twists above the ice as she completes her routine on her way to winning the ladies technical program of the Skate America International competition in Dallas Friday night, Oct. 22, 1993. Tim Sharp/Associated Press Tonya Harding uses the ice rink boards to help herself up from the ice after a fall at her second practice in Hamar, Norway as she prepered for the Lillehammer Olympics. Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press Former skating star Tonya Harding, shown during an appearance in Cologne, Germany, Feb. 15. 1995. Edgar Schoepal/Associated Press Tonya Harding of Vancouver, Wash., tries to get up off the mat after falling with opponent Samantha Browning of Mantachie, Miss., during their professional debut bout, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2003, in Memphis, Tenn. Browning defeated Harding in a split decision. Dave Martin/Associated Press Former figure skater and aspiring boxer Tonya Harding has her hand raised after sparring with her trainer and promoter Paul Brown between periods of the Indianapolis Ice-Colorado Eagles hockey game Friday, March 12, 2004, in Indianapolis. John Harrell/Associated Press Tonya Harding spars with coach Jeff Hargis, Monday, Feb 17, 2003, during a practice workout at the Grand Casino in Tunica, Miss. Lance Murphey/The Commercial Appeal/Associated Press Figure skater Tonya Harding, right, poses with Paula Jones, left, after the weigh-in for their fight on “Celebrity Boxing,” Wednesday, March 6, 2002, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Rene Macura/Associated Press In this Jan. 12, 1992, file photo, Tonya Harding, left, and Nancy Kerrigan appear at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Orlando, Fla. Phil Sandlin/Associated Press Tonya Harding Associated Press American figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, rear, skate through their routines during the practice session Tuesday, Feb. 22, 1994, at the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre in Hamar, Norway. Doug Mills/Associated Press Former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding uses a weed trimmer as she performs community service work at the Camas Cemetery, Tuesday, May 23, 2000, in Camas, Wash. Jack Smith/Associated Press Figure skating champion Tonya Harding holds flowers and a stuffed bear given to her by fans after her last public practice in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 14, 1994. Don Ryan/Associated Press Figure Skating champion Tonya Harding waves as she leaves her plane upon arrival in Oslo, Norway Wednesday morning, Feb. 16, 1994. Ed Reinke/Associated Press Tonya Harding performs during her professional debut on Saturday, Feb. 22, 1997, before a Reno Renegades hockey game at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nev. Joe Gosen/Associated Press Figure skater Tonya Harding waves to fans at the end of her last practice in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 16, 1994, before heading for the World Figure Skating Championships in Japan. Shane Young/Associated Press Figure skater Tonya Harding gestures during taping of NBC’s nationally syndicated “Rolonda Show” in Portland, Ore., Saturday, April 23, 1994. Don Ryan/Associated Press Figure skater Tonya Harding glides over the ice during her practice in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 14, 1994. Jack Smith/Associated Press U.S. Figure Skating champ Tonya Harding takes Chance Hamlin, 9, for a ride during his birthday celebration prior to the start of her practice session Friday in Portland, Jan. 28, 1994. Don Ryan/Associated Press U.S. Figure Skating champion Tonya Harding goes through her routine during a practice session in Portland, Ore., Friday, Jan. 21, 1994. Steve Slocum/Associated Press U.S. Figure Skating Champion Tonya Harding goes through her routine at a Portland, Ore., ice rink Monday, Jan. 24, 1994, in preparation for the upcoming Winter Games. Jack Smith/Associated Press U.S. Figure Skating champion Tonya Harding checks her notes as she delivers a prepared statement at a news conference Thursday, Jan. 27, 1994, in Portland. Jack Smith/Associated Press U.S. Figure Skating champion Tonya Harding waves to photographers shooting her from rinkside after jumping, falling and sliding in the wall during her practice in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1994. Don Ryan/Associated Press Portland figure skater Tonya Harding speaks to the media from the doorway of her father’s home in Portland Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1994. Tom Treick/The Oregonian/Associated Press U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding (background) watches as teammate Nancy Kerrigan practices her routine during their second joint practice of the day Thursday, Feb. 17, 1994, at the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre. Ed Hille/Philadelphia Inquirer/KRT Left to right: Tonya Harding, Kristi Yamaguchi and Nancy Kerrigan on the medals podium during the 1990 World Figure Skating Championships Vandystadt/ALLSPORT Tonya Harding, figure-skating star turned professional boxer, talks with Kevin Koyl during at press conference to promote “Turf Wars” cage -fighting at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 H. William Archie/Detroit Free Press Tonya Harding, figure-skating star turned professional boxer, talks with Kevin Koyl during at press conference to promote “Turf Wars” cage -fighting at the Palace of Auburn Hills in January 2009. William Archie/Detroit Free Press Figure skater Tonya Harding displays a ringless left hand during her practice in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Feb. 3, 1994. Jack Smith/Associated Press Former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding discusses her comeback to competitive figure skating during an interview at the Tri-State Ice Arena in Huntington, W.Va., in this Oct. 17, 1999 photo. Randy Snyder/The Herald-Dispatch/Associated Press Tonya Harding performs Saturday, Jan. 8, 1004, during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. Alan R. Kamuda/Detroit Free Press U.S. Figure Skating champ Tonya Harding reacts to the crowd during a practice session Friday in Portland, Jan. 28, 1994. Jack Smith/Associated Press Tonya Harding waves to the crowd, wearing a fur-lined Mrs. Santa Claus outfit and holding a balloon, stuffed Santa and flowers after skating a short Christmas exhibition in Portland, Ore., Friday, Dec. 23, 1994. Don Ryan/Associated Press Tonya Harding of Portland, Ore., speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1994, at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. Daniel Lippitt/Associated Press 17 FEB 1994: NANCY KERRIGAN AND TONYA HARDING OF THE USA ON THE ICE TOGETHER DURING TRAINING AT LILLEHAMMER, NORWAY. Pascal Rondeau Getty Images 25 FEB 1994: TONYA HARDING , USA , PERFORMS DURING THE FREE PROGRAM TODAY IN LILLEHAMMER. Mandatory Credit: Bob Martin/ALLSPORT Bob Martin Getty Images Left to right: Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding, and Nancy kerrigan on the podium during the 1991 US Figure Skating Championships. Tim DeFrisco Getty Images This is a police booking mug of figure skater Tonya Harding taken on March 18, 1994 at the Portland, Oregon, Justice Center, as she appeared for mug shots, fingerprinting and a probation hearing. Harding pleaded guilty in Portland Wednesday to a conspiracy charge in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. AP Figure skater Tonya Harding, right, chats at rinkside with her coach, Diane Rawlinson, second from left, and fans during her practice in Portland, Ore., Jan. 31, 1994. Jack Smith, AP U.S. figure skating champion Tonya Harding (R) listens to her coach Diane Rawlinson during a practice session. AFP/Getty Images DETROIT, UNITED STATES: Tonya Harding pumps her fists as she finishes her gold medal winning program at the women’s championship 08 January 1994 at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, who did not compete because she was wounded in an attack by an unknown assailant 06 January, will represent the U.S. at the 1994 Winter Olympics. (Photo credit should read CHRIS WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images) CHRIS WILKINS AFP/Getty Images

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She finished second behind Oksana Baiul of Ukraine.

With the back-to-back performances, Kerrigan became the first U.S. woman to win figure skating medals in consecutive Winter Games since Carol Heiss won silver in 1956 and gold in 1960.

Kerrigan experienced a bit of additional chaos during and after the Olympics.

CBS cameras caught her making what seemed like unkind post-Olympic comments about tearful gold winner Oksana Baiul as they waited for their medals.

There was that Disney World parade where she was criticized for appearing to dis Mickey Mouse. And, later, the National Enquirer did a splashy, big-picture story in which Kerrigan was called “a home-wrecker” in the divorce of her agent, now-husband Jerry Solomon.

As of 2014, Kerrigan was living in Boston with her three children and Solomon.

She has built a successful life of endorsements, corporate appearances and skating shows.

Kerrigan has largely avoided controversy save a tragedy in 2010, when her 70-year-old father suffered a heart attack and died shortly after an altercation with her brother, Mark. The family maintained Mark was not at fault, but in June 2011 he was convicted of assault and battery in connection with the death and sent to prison. He was released in 2012.

Kerrigan served as a figure skating analyst during the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

She competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2017 and finished sixth with partner Artem Chigvintsev.

On the show, Kerrigan revealed she had six miscarriages in an eight-year span after the birth of her first child, Matthew, in 1996.

In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Kerrigan called the miscarriages “devastating” and said they were hard on her marriage.

She says one of the most painful moments came after one miscarriage, when she had to tell an excited Matthew that he wasn’t going to be a big brother.

Kerrigan says she turned to in vitro fertilization for the births of son Brian and daughter Nicole.

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Nancy Kerrigan is sharing her story about her pregnancy struggles, which included at least six miscarriages, in the hopes of reducing the stigma around the topic.

With the December 2018 release of the movie, “I, Tonya,” which focuses on the life of Harding and the attack on Kerrigan, the tumultuous time in Kerrigan’s life is in the spotlight again.

“I really don’t look back unless someone asks me to look back, and then I have to,” Kerrigan told USA TODAY Sports in 2014 in a telephone interview. “Otherwise, why would I? I was attacked.”

USA TODAY reporter Christine Brennan, former Detroit Free Press reporter Michelle Kaufman, now with the Miami Herald, and Free Press archives contributed to this report.

CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINEMAILMORE1of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren2of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren3of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks to her husband Jerry Solomon before speaking at a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 4of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. New York State Office of General Services Commissioner Roann Destito stands at right. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 5of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 6of45Sophia Brothers, 8, of Clifton Park gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 7of45Sophia Brothers, 8, of Clifton Park gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 8of45Laura Brothers takes a photo of her daughter Sophia, 8, of Clifton Park as she gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 9of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 10of45A young skater gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 11of45Fans get their photo taken with two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 12of45Members of the Hudson Mohawk Figure Skating Club get their photo taken with two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 13of45Skater Elena Kaplan, 15, of Menands had her skate signed by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 14of45Sophia Brothers, 8, of Clifton Park gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 15of45

Laura Brothers takes a photo of her daughter Sophia, 8, of Clifton Park as she gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

Lori Van Buren 16of45

Fans get their photo taken with two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

Lori Van Buren 17of45Members of the Hudson Mohawk Figure Skating Club get their photo taken with two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 18of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Her appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-womenOs multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 19of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Her appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-womenOs multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 20of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Her appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-womenOs multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 21of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Her appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-womenOs multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. She was interviewed by Leigh Hornbeck of the Times Union, left. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 22of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Her appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-womenOs multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. She was interviewed by Leigh Hornbeck of the Times Union, right. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 23of45Audience members listen to two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speak at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Kerrigan’s appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-womenOs multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 24of45Audience members listen to two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speak at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Kerrigan’s appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-womenOs multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 25of45Jerry Solomon, Aurora Games creator and husband of Nancy Kerrigan, speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron 26of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. New York State Office of General Services Commissioner Roann Destito stands at right. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 27of45Skater Elena Kaplan, 15, of Menands had her skate signed by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 28of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Her appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-women?•s multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron/Albany Times Union 29of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 30of45A young skater gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 31of45Sophia Brothers, 8, of Clifton Park gets an autograph by two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 32of45Fans get their photo taken with two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren 33of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. Her appearance was in support of the upcoming Aurora Games, an all-women?•s multi-sport competition and entertainment festival that will be held in Albany this August. She was interviewed by Leigh Hornbeck of the Times Union, right. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron/Albany Times Union 34of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren/Albany Times Union 35of45Jerry Solomon, Aurora Games creator and husband of Nancy Kerrigan, speaks at the Hearst Media Center on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Colonie, N.Y. (Will Waldron/Times Union)Will Waldron/Albany Times Union 36of45Members of the Hudson Mohawk Figure Skating Club get their photo taken with two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren/Albany Times Union 37of45Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan talks about the upcoming Aurora Games during a special appearance at the Empire State Plaza on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Albany, N.Y. Kerrigan serves as the Figure Skating Chair on the Aurora Games Advisory Board. (Lori Van Buren/Times Union)Lori Van Buren/Albany Times Union 38of45From left Aurora Games Founder Jerry Solomon, former Olympians Nadia Comaneci and Jackie Joyner-Kersee laugh during a press conference for the Aurora Games on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. (Phoebe Sheehan/Times Union)Phoebe Sheehan/Albany Times Union 39of45World Team logo for the Aurora Games.Aurora Games 40of45Former Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee during a press conference for the Aurora Games on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. (Phoebe Sheehan/Times Union)Phoebe Sheehan/Albany Times Union 41of45Former Olympian Nadia Comaneci speaks during a press conference for the Aurora Games on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. (Phoebe Sheehan/Times Union)Phoebe Sheehan/Albany Times Union 42of45Aurora Games founder Jerry Solomon speaks during a press conference for the Aurora Games on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. (Phoebe Sheehan/Times Union)Phoebe Sheehan/Albany Times Union 43of45UAlbany track and field athlete Tara Belinsky asks a question during a press conference for the Aurora Games Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. (Phoebe Sheehan/Times Union)Phoebe Sheehan/Albany Times Union 44of45Donna de Varona, Olympic gold medalist swimmer and sportscaster, talks about the importance of women’s sports during a press conference at The Times Union Center on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Albany, N.Y. It was announced at the event that the Aurora Games would be coming to Albany in August of 2019. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)Paul Buckowski/Albany Times Union 45of45Aurora Games organizer Jerry Solomon speaks at a news conference Friday at the Queensbury Hotel. (Courtesy of Behan Communications)Andy Camp

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were at the center of a media storm in 1994 for one of the biggest scandals in sports history. After Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee during practice before the U.S. Women’s Championships in Detroit by an attacker allegedly linked to Harding, Harding was stripped of her championship title and banned from the sport for life. Now, the story is the subject of the film I, Tonya. Here’s a look at all of the key players and where they are now.

Tonya Harding

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Then:

In the early ’90s, Harding was one of the best professional female figure skaters in the U.S. In 1991, she was the second woman in history and the first American to land a triple axel at the U.S. championships.

Her journey to the 1994 Olympics was a downhill battle that consisted of her breaking down over a broken lace, fighting accusations from her then-husband that she had prior knowledge of the attack on Kerrigan, and finishing in eighth place in the women’s figure skating division.

Although Harding always vehemently denied she was involved in Kerrigan’s assault, she pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution in March 1994.

The Washington Post reported in July 1994, six months after the attack, that the U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Harding of her ’94 national championship and banned her from the organization for life. “By a preponderance of the evidence, the five members of the panel concluded that she had prior knowledge and was involved prior to the incident,” hearing panel chairman William Hybl said. “This is based on civil standards, not criminal standards.”

Now:

Harding divorced Gilloly in 1993, and married her second husband, Michael Smith, in 1995. However, Harding and Smith’s marriage lasted only three months. Today, Harding, 47, lives in Washington state with her third husband Joseph Jens Price. Harding told Inside Edition in 2012 that she met her current husband, Price, at a karaoke bar and the two married in 2010.

The couple has a 6-year-old son named Gordon, whose birth Harding considers a miracle after she was once told she could not have children, according to Oregon Live.

“He’s the most wonderful thing in the world,” Harding said of her son amid tears in the 2012 Inside Edition interview. When asked whether she will tell her son about her infamous past, Harding responded, “My son will know who his mom is and who his dad is when the time is right.”

Nancy Kerrigan

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In 1994, Kerrigan was also at the height of her figure skating career and was the face of many companies like Campbell’s Soup and Revlon. On January 6, 1994, she was violently attacked leaving practice in Detroit.

Investigations later found that the attack was planned by Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gilloly, in order to hinder Kerrigan’s chances of making the U.S. Olympics team.

Kerrigan eventually recovered and competed in the 1994 Olympics. She won the silver medal.

In April 2017, Kerrigan, 48, told ABC News: “We were at an event four years after I was attacked but we didn’t really speak to each other so it was very awkward and strange.” When the interviewer asks if she ever got an apology from Harding, Kerrigan responds, “Not a direct … does it matter at this point?”

Kerrigan has three kids with her husband of 22 years Jerry Solomon. She gave birth to her son Matthew in 1996, but revealed to ABC that she then suffered six miscarriages over eight years. Kerrigan turned to fertility treatments and gave birth to her second son Brian in 2005 and daughter Nicole in 2008.

In 2017, Kerrigan stepped back into the spotlight as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars. She also executive produced the upcoming sports documentary Why Don’t You Lose 5 Pounds?, which is about athletes struggling with eating disorders. Kerrigan told ABC she can relate to subjects in the film because she also felt pressure to stay in shape as a competitor. “It became difficult for me to eat more,” she said.

Kerrigan also recently appeared on a Christmas-themed episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kris Jenner invited her as a guest on the show to figure skate on the family’s skating rink at their home.

Jeff Gillooly

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Gilloly was a conveyor belt operator who was married to Tonya Harding from 1990 to 1993. He also often served as Harding’s manager. Harding accused him of abuse and she filed for divorce twice.

Gillooly was charged with conspiracy to commit assault for the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, but later pleaded down to one count of racketeering, according to a 1994 New York Daily News article. He served prison time for the offense. He alleged that Harding was aware of the planned attack and said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

Gillooly changed his name to Jeff Stone after his release from prison in 1995. He also shaved off his famous mustache and took a job as a used car salesman.

In 2013, he conducted an interview with Deadspin, in which he revealed he resides in Clackamas, Oregon, with his wife Christy Novasio and two kids Haley and Noah Stone. The mother of his children, Nancy Sharkey, committed suicide in 2005 after years of battling substance abuse, according to Deadspin.

LaVona Fay “Sandy” Golden

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According to a 1994 Chicago Tribune article, Harding’s mother Golden worked nights as a waitress to help pay for figure skating lessons and sewed her daughter’s costumes by hand. She accompanied Harding to many of her practices, but was reportedly seen getting physical with her daughter on multiple occasions.

John McBride, owner of the Valley Ice Arena in Beaverton, Oregon, told the Chicago Tribune that if Harding did not jump high enough or skate cleanly, her mother would “whack her.” Harding’s cousin, Debbie Addison, also said Harding felt the pressure from her mother to succeed. “All her life her mother told her if you weren’t good enough for first, you weren’t good enough for anything,” Addison said.

Golden denied the accusations on CBS’s Eye to Eye With Connie Chung, The New York Times reported in 1994. “I wouldn’t call myself an abusive mother, nor would I say she had a bad childhood,” Golden said on CBS. “And then some people, they don’t figure it’s right to swat a bottom. I think if a bottom needs to be swatted, fine. Swat is not spank. Spank is putting over your knees and going whop, whop, whop, whop, or whatever. I did not ever do that.”

Golden and Harding remain estranged. In 2009, Harding told Oprah Winfrey she was physically abused by her mother growing up. Winfrey said Golden admitted to hitting Harding only “once,” which Harding disputed.

Golden, who now lives in Washington state, spoke to Inside Edition on November 1 to stand by her claims and explain her current relationship with Harding. “She hates me. I could never do anything right for her,” Golden said. “I gave her one swat at a competition. I would love to be a part of the family, but I know she does not want this, so I will not bother her.” She said they mother and daughter have not spoken in 15 years, since 2002.

Diane Rawlinson

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Rawlinson was Harding’s coach who, according to a 1994 Chicago Tribune article, was a former Ice Capades soloist, model wine collector, and wife to a prominent Oregon attorney.

Rawlinson parted ways twice with Harding, but was her coach in the competitions leading up to the 1994 Olympics. When the attack against Kerrigan occurred, Rawlinson denied Harding had any involvement. “Tonya’s innocent,” Rawlinson told The Washington Post. “She won the nationals. She trained hard to be on the national team and she deserves to go.”

Rawlinson has kept a pretty low profile since coaching Harding. In a 2013 Oregon Live article, she was cited as one of the recipients of the Koerner Rombauer Award for Service, along with her husband, Dennis Rawlinson. The Koerner Rombauer Award “recognizes individuals that have significantly contributed to the success of through their dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to the event and its benefiting charities. She is also listed on the foundation board of directors for the Portland Ice Skating Club.

Shawn Eckhardt

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Eckhardt worked as Harding’s bodyguard. According to a report by Diane Sawyer in 1994, he worked with Derrick Smith (one of the accomplices in Kerrigan’s attack) as a teenager, and alleged that he worked for espionage agencies around the world.

After the attack on Kerrigan, Eckhardt accused Harding of knowing about the plan. “She knew that it had been initiated. She knew that it was going to take place,” Eckhardt told Diane Sawyer ” asked me why haven’t they gotten this done yet? She was upset that it was taking so long.”

Eckhardt contacted Smith, who hired his nephew Shane Stant as Kerrigan’s hit man. Eckhardt was sentenced to 18 months in prison for racketeering but was released four months early in September 1995.

Eckhardt changed his name to Brian Shawn Griffith after the attack, according to a New York Times obituary. He died at age 40 in 2007. He lived in Beaverton, Oregon, and had started a computer business in 2001, but it dissolved in 2005, according to state records. He was also sentenced to three years’ probation for a misdemeanor assault in 2001.

Shane Stant

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Stant was the hit man hired to attack Harding. On January 6, 1994, he snuck into Kerrigan’s practice rink and clubbed her with a police baton.

On E!’s True Hollywood Story, he alleged that his uncle Derrick Smith asked him if he would “take down a skater” for money. Her served 14 months in prison for the conspiracy.

In a 1995 Spokesman-Review article, Stant apologized for his involvement in the crime. “I’m really sorry for what I’ve done,” Stant said. “I’ve kind of waited to say I was sorry to Nancy Kerrigan. I didn’t think it would sound sincere if I said it before I got sentenced. But I don’t think I will bother her because she probably just wants to put this behind her.”

Now:

In a 2013 Bleacher Report article, Stant said: “The big thing for me is I became a Christian. It sounds really cliche-ish. But it really changed me,” he said. “I had an opportunity when I was in prison to sit there and go, ‘Man, what kind of person do you want to be? What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your family and your children? What kind of man do you want to be?'”

Derrick B. Smith

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Smith was Gillooly’s friend and Stant’s uncle. He attended the meetings in which he, Gillooly, Eckhardt, and Stant planned out the attack. On January 6, 1994, he drove the getaway car that Stant used to escape the scene of the crime. On January 13, Smith was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree assault,Oregon Live reported in 1994.

According to Bleacher Report, in 2013, Smith resided in Montana and remained the most private out of the group. There have not been any recent public updates.

Oksana Baiul

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Baiul was a 16-year-old professional figure skater from the Ukraine, competing at the 1994 Olympics against Kerrigan and Harding. She won the gold over Kerrigan, who took home the silver.

On Twitter, Baiul credits herself as a figure skater, philanthropist, producer, and family person. She recently shared a photo of her family on her 40th birthday in November.

Eileen Reslen I’m Eileen, the digital news reporter at Hearst Digital Media.

I, Tonya (2017)

Questioning the Story:
In general, how accurate is I, Tonya?

The movie isn’t specifically based on true events, but rather draws from multiple versions of the same events. This is what makes pinpointing the definitive version of the truth difficult, but in the questions that follow we were able to separate fact from fiction at a number of different points in the movie, while the reality of other scenes may never be known. The tabloids had their versions of the truth and the people involved had their own accounts. The movie leans largely on telling Tonya Harding’s side of the story. However, screenwriter Steve Rogers also based his script on ex-husband Jeff Gillooly’s perspective too, mainly drawing from separate interviews he conducted with Harding and Gillooly. The exes’ stories hardly ever matched up.
“Their stories were so wildly different, they didn’t remember anything the same,” Rogers told the LA Times at TIFF. Even the details of their first date didn’t line up. Their contrasting stories led the filmmakers to open I, Tonya with a title card that states, “Based on irony free, wildly contradictory, totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly.”

Tonya Harding (left) at 1991 Skate America where she landed a triple axel and edged out Kristie Yamaguchi to win the competition. Margot Robbie as Harding in the movie.
Why is the movie called I, Tonya “I don’t know if anybody really realizes, it’s I, Tonya because it’s after I, Claudius,” explained Sebastian Stan in an interview. I, Claudius is a 1934 historical novel by Robert Graves, written as if it were an autobiography by the Roman Emperor Claudius.
ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Price of Gold is an acclaimed documentary that thoroughly examines the Tonya Harding – Nancy Kerrigan incident. Had Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan been rivals before the attack?

Yes. The I, Tonya true story confirms that they both were competing for the top spot among U.S. figure skaters. Tonya’s groundbreaking triple axel at the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships helped her to win first place, while Kerrigan received bronze. They went up against each other again at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, with Tonya landing in fourth and Kerrigan edging her out to win bronze. Their rivalry went beyond healthy competition. Tonya was arguably the slightly better skater, but Kerrigan had more sponsorships (Reebok, Campbell’s, Revlon, etc.) and the public seemed to favor her persona more. Director Nanette Burstein’s ESPN Films documentary 30 for 30: The Price of Gold examines Tonya Harding’s rise and the Nancy Kerrigan scandal, which became one of the most well-known controversies in the history of sports.

Was Tonya Harding abused as a child?

Yes. According to Harding, she was both mentally and physically abused by her mother, LaVona Golden, beginning at age 6 or 7. “She became very abusive drinking all day long,” Harding said. “Beating me, dragging me off the rink, hitting me with a hairbrush … right in front of everyone.” Her mother admitted to hitting her once at a competition while she was trying to do Tonya’s hair and Tonya wouldn’t sit still as they were calling for her on the ice. She stressed that she tried to do the best she could as a mother and worked three jobs to pay for Tonya’s training. -Oprah.com
“She was sweet back then,” Tonya’s mother said in a 2017 Inside Edition interview. “I didn’t have any problems until she got up in her teens.” LaVona says that they haven’t spoken since 2002. “She hates me, period. I could never do anything right for her, nothing.” Toward the end of the interview, she added, “I’d love to be part of the family, but I know she doesn’t want this, so I do not bother her.” Tonya now has a husband and a young son, LaVona’s grandson.

A young Tonya Harding (left) with a figure skating trophy and actress Mckenna Grace (right) looking not so happy in the I, Tonya movie.
Did Tonya Harding really say to a judge, “Suck my d**k”? No. “That’s ah, actually one of the rare things that Tonya actually didn’t say,” explained Margot Robbie, “but when she saw the movie, the real Tonya Harding I mean, she was like, ‘I loved that line! I wish I had actually said that.'” -Jimmy Kimmel Live
The rest of that scene is mostly true. A judge did criticize her bright pink outfit that she had made herself, but it didn’t happen in front of the judges’ panel. “It was really pretty,” says Harding. “One of the judges came up to me afterwards and said, ‘You know what, if you ever wear anything like that again at a U.S. Championships, you will never do another one.’ And I told them where to go. I said, ‘Well, you know what. If you can come up with $5,000 for a costume for me, then I won’t have to make it, but until then, stay out of my face.'” -30 for 30: The Price of Gold
Did Tonya Harding really become the first American woman to perform a triple axel in competition?

Yes. Tonya Harding’s triple axel was as big of a deal as in the I, Tonya movie. Her successful execution of a triple axel on February 16, 1991 at the United States National Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota made her the first American female figure skater to pull it off in a competition (watch the Tonya Harding triple axel video). The next month at the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, she became the first American woman to complete a triple axel at an international event. That same year at the Fall 1991 Skate America she had three more triple axel firsts, becoming the first woman to complete one in the short program, the first to execute two in a single competition, and the first ever to execute a triple axel combined with a double toe loop.

Tonya Harding (left) just after becoming the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition. Margot Robbie (right) recreates the moment in the I, Tonya movie.
How accurate is the I, Tonya movie’s portrayal of Allison Janney as Tonya’s mom? A significant portion of the character is fiction, in part due to the fact that Allison Janney and the filmmakers could not track down Tonya’s mother LaVona to speak to her. ” Steven asked Tonya where her mother was and she didn’t know, and if she did, she wasn’t going to let on,” Janney said after the Toronto Film Festival screening. “We couldn’t find her anywhere, so we just used existing footage and what he found out through Tonya what her mother was like. It was a little freeing, to me, knowing that, Well, we have this tape and from there, it’s whatever we choose to create as a team.” Janney had only one video interview on which to base her performance, and it didn’t help that Tonya had been estranged from her mother for quite a few years (Vulture). “We didn’t know at the time if she was alive or dead, so it was pretty much Tonya’s experience of her mother and artistic license,” Janney told Deadline.
It’s more likely that the filmmakers didn’t try very hard to find LaVona, because Inside Edition managed to track her down for an interview about Tonya and the movie, which was taped not long before the movie’s release. “Is that me!?” LaVona said while looking at a screenshot of Allison Janney portraying her in the movie. “She doesn’t even look like me.”
Did Tonya’s mom LaVona really appear in an interview with her bird on her shoulder?

Yes. The I, Tonya true story reveals that, surprisingly, this actually happened. “We had all the actual footage—you couldn’t invent this stuff,” says Margot Robbie. “In an interview, Tonya’s mom, LaVona, wore a fur coat with an actual bird sitting on her shoulder.” And like in the movie, LaVona sewed Tonya’s costumes, a task that Tonya would later take over. -W Magazine

Tonya Harding’s mom, LaVona Golden (left), really did appear in an interview with a bird on her shoulder. Allison Janney (right) recreates the moment for the movie.
Did Tonya Harding really get lower scores than she deserved because of her tough image? Yes. Like in the movie, judges at times gave her lower scores because her gruff personality contradicted the conventional “presentation” they were looking for. Her skating was powerful and athletic instead of graceful and balletic. The unfair treatment by the judges made Tonya an even more rebellious skater. “Ice skating, I think, it’s a very snob sport. It’s a very snob sport,” said Harding’s former choreographer, Vicki Mills-O’Donnell, during ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Price of Gold documentary, “and she did not fit the image at all, not even close.” Harding grew up a tomboy, going hunting and fishing with her dad, and chopping firewood.
When and where did the attack on Nancy Kerrigan take place?

The attack happened on January 6, 1994 at Cobo Arena in Detroit Michigan, where Kerrigan had just finished a practice session for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Did Tonya Harding’s ex-husband and her bodyguard really orchestrate the attack on Nancy Kerrigan?

Yes. Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, paid assailant Shane Stant to carry out the attack. Stant first planned to attack Nancy Kerrigan at her training rink in Massachusetts but was unable to find Kerrigan. So he followed her to Detroit and attacked her shortly after she stepped off the ice after practicing at Cobo Arena for the national championships. The moments before and after the attack were caught on tape and can be seen in this Nancy Kerrigan attack video. Like in the I, Tonya movie, she is on the ground crying out, “Why?!” in between moans, describing the object she was hit in the leg with as “some hard, hard black stick.”

Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan (left) cries out in pain on the floor of an ice rink hallway moments after she was attacked. Actress Caitlin Carver (right) portrays Kerrigan in the I, Tonya movie.
What did assailant Shane Stant use to try and break Nancy Kerrigan’s leg?

Shane Stant used a 21-inch retractable ASP tactical baton that he purchased for $58.56 from a store called Spy Headquarters. He struck Kerrigan on her right leg very close to the top outer side of her knee. Fortunately for Kerrigan, her leg was not broken but she did suffer a bone bruise. The injury kept her from competing in the national championships the next day, which Tonya Harding won, guaranteeing her a spot on the Olympic team (Sports Illustrated). After the win, Harding remarked, “I’m really happy, but it won’t be a true crown until I get my chance with Nancy, and that’ll be Olympics and let me tell ya, I’m gonna whip her butt” (National Geographic).

Tonya Harding (left) finished a disappointing 8th at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehamer, Norway. Rival Nancy Kerrigan took home the silver medal. Margot Robbie (right) as Harding in the I, Tonya movie.
Did Nancy Kerrigan’s attacker, Shane Stant, really shatter a glass door as he escaped? Yes. After striking Nancy Kerrigan in the leg, Shane Stant fled from Cobo Arena. On his way out, he encountered a locked glass door that he shattered in order to escape the building. -ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Price of Gold
What was the punishment for the individuals involved in the attack?

In researching the I, Tonya true story, we learned that Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, testified against Harding and was given a plea bargain. Gillooly, assailant Shane Stant, Harding’s bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt, and getaway driver Derrick Smith all spent time in prison for the attack. -The New York Times

Ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (left) and his accomplices turned on Tonya Harding and told the FBI that she was involved in planning the attack.
Did Tonya Harding know that the attack on Nancy Kerrigan was going to happen?

In 1994, the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) concluded that Harding knew that the attack on Kerrigan was going to happen, stating that Harding exhibited “a clear disregard for fairness, good sportsmanship and ethical behavior.” Harding denied that she had any knowledge of the attack before it happened and maintains her innocence to this day (The New York Times). She claims that her ex-husband confessed privately to her after the attack. Actress Margot Robbie, who was skeptical at first, came to support Harding’s innocence. “I’m on her side 100 percent,” said Robbie. “I don’t think she did anything but be different from what the world wanted. There are cool misfits, and then there is Tonya. She didn’t fit in. And I love that” (W Magazine).

Did Nancy Kerrigan’s injury help Tonya Harding at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway?

No, but it did help Tonya to win nationals and guarantee herself a spot on the Olympic team. Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were both selected for the 1994 Olympic team, but by then Kerrigan’s leg had fully recovered from the attack, as depicted in the I, Tonya movie. Harding finished in eighth place at Lillehamer, while Kerrigan took second behind Oksana Baiul, winning the silver medal (many believe that Kerrigan should have won gold since her routine was more technical than Baiul’s). Harding at one point had to stop midway into her routine to plead with the judges to allow her to fix her skate lace. See the video.

After experiencing lace issues, an emotional Tonya Harding (top) stops shortly into her routine at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehamer, Norway and explains her issue to the judges. Margot Robbie (bottom) recreates the moment in the I, Tonya movie.
Was Tonya Harding really banned from U.S. figure skating? Yes. In March 1994, Harding plead guilty to conspiring to hinder the prosecution of Nancy Kerrigan’s attackers. She received a $160,000 fine, three years probation, and 500 hours of community service. She was forced to resign from the United States Figure Skating Association and withdraw from the 1994 World Figure Skating Championships. Harding was banned from participating in any event sanctioned by the USFSA, including as a coach. -The New York Times The Tonya Tapes book by Lynda Prouse was written in collaboration with Tonya Harding. In her 2008 autobiography, The Tonya Tapes, she claimed that she wanted to tell the FBI what she knew but her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, threatened to kill her following a gunpoint gang rape with two other men, an assertion Gillooly calls “utterly ridiculous.” -TODAY
Did actress Margot Robbie do any of her own skating in I, Tonya?

While investigating the true story, we discovered that Margot Robbie did portions of her own skating, but the more complicated parts were done by experts. As for Tonya Harding’s triple axel, there were only two women in the world doing it at the time of filming and they couldn’t risk it since they would be competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Instead, the filmmakers used computer generation to pull off (or not pull off) the triple axel.
“I had only ever been on the ice in the capacity of playing ice hockey, ’cause I joined an ice hockey team when I first moved to America,” says Robbie. “My hockey was pretty good, my ice skating was pretty terrible, but you have so much padding on that it doesn’t really matter. This movie came around and I just was welcomed to a whole world of pain that I didn’t realize coexisted with figure skating. I did probably four months of training, five days a week, a couple hours a day. … It was at times kind of difficult.” -W Magazine

Did Margot Robbie meet Tonya Harding before making the movie?

Yes. Fact-checking I, Tonya reveals that prior to filming, Margot Robbie flew to Portland, Oregon to meet Tonya Harding. However, Robbie says that she never wanted the character to be a carbon copy of Tonya. “I wanted there to be a clear distinction between the ‘real’ Tonya and the one I would be playing.” Therefore, Tonya was not a consultant on the set. Margot Robbie met up with Tonya again when they showed her the movie right before it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Tonya also attended the world premiere. Margot Robbie says that while there were parts Tonya liked and parts she didn’t agree with, overall she thinks that Tonya is happy with the movie. -W Magazine

Tonya Harding and Margot Robbie at the I, Tonya premiere.
Does Nancy Kerrigan plan to see the I, Tonya movie? During an Access Hollywood interview for her 2017 appearance on Dancing with the Stars, Nancy Kerrigan was asked if she plans to see the I, Tonya movie. “Oh, um, I’ve already lived through that,” she said with a laugh.
Tonya Harding Triple Axel Video & Nancy Kerrigan Attack

Watch the videos below, which help to answer the question, how accurate is I, Tonya? See the real Nancy Kerrigan attack video, which closely mimics what’s seen in the movie, and watch the Tonya Harding triple axel video to see her groundbreaking 1991 performance.

Link-to-Learn More:

  • Official I, Tonya Movie Website

Tonya Harding is back, but don’t forget facts

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Based on true events, ‘I, Tonya’ follows American figure skater Tonya Harding, the infamous skater known for her association with a violent attack on her Olympic rival Nancy Kerrigan.

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Tonya Harding is back. America’s first pop culture cable news villain, a chain-smoking asthmatic who made one bad decision after another to squander opportunities to win two Olympic figure skating medals, is once again back in the news.

This time, thankfully, no one has been attacked. This time, it’s only a movie.

And a dark, outrageous one at that. I, Tonya, which is opening around the country over the next couple of weeks, is filled with knuckleheads and overflowing with scenes of domestic violence. If anything bad happens – and, rest assured, it does – the movie wants you to know it’s definitely not Tonya’s fault. Especially the 1994 attack on rival U.S. skater Nancy Kerrigan, a two-time Olympic medalist.

In the wildest sports story many of us will ever witness, Tonya’s live-in ex-husband and his goofball friends actually talked about trying to kill Kerrigan. They stalked her and eventually attacked her on the knee at the 1994 U.S. Olympic trials in Detroit, forcing her out of the event and into a whirlwind recovery reaching the 1994 Winter Olympics, where she lost the gold medal by one-tenth of a point on one judge’s scorecard.

It would be natural to ask if I, Tonya makes you feel sorry for Nancy, considering she was the one who actually was attacked.

Of course it does not. Instead, it wants you to feel sorry for Tonya.

Oh, Tonya. I covered every preposterous second of the Tonya-Nancy saga from Jan. 6-Feb. 25, 1994. I’ve seen the movie twice. There were times I laughed out loud. Some of the acting is wonderful. But the movie certainly doesn’t worry about letting the facts get in the way of a good story or bother to tell you that the only person Tonya has to blame for her monumental athletic failures is herself.

Hollywood has every right to tell the story any which way it wants, of course. But in the interest of, well, the truth, I thought it might be helpful to recall a few salient facts about Tonya before everyone gets swept off their feet wanting to forgive her and welcome her back so she can take her rightful place in society, perhaps by replacing Omarosa in the White House.

More: Robbie aims to be a force on skates as Tonya Harding in biopic ‘I, Tonya’

More: Margot Robbie’s Tonya Harding movie is officially the darling of Toronto

For a quarter of a century now, popular culture has somehow fallen for the notion that Tonya got a raw deal from figure skating judges and the U.S. Figure Skating Association. This is the oxygen on which I, Tonya survives: Poor Tonya. The bad girl from the wrong side of the tracks got the shaft at every turn.

Nice try, but no. U.S. officials didn’t send Tonya to one Olympics. They sent her to two. She also won two U.S. national titles, one of which was later taken away due to her supporting role in the attack on Kerrigan. (She gave information about Nancy’s Cape Cod training rink to the “hit men,” and later pled guilty to the felony of conspiracy to hinder the prosecution.)

U.S. Olympic and skating officials gave Tonya every opportunity to be a star. And what did she do with those opportunities? She frittered them all away.

Tonya actually was blessed with dollops of athletic good luck, starting with the year she was born, 1970. When the International Olympic Committee decided in 1986 to separate the Winter and Summer Games after 1992, it moved the Winter Olympics to 1994, giving skaters Tonya’s age the unprecedented opportunity to compete in two Olympics within two years in the prime of their careers – 1992 and 1994.

Another bit of good fortune came in 1990, when the sport did away with its compulsory school figures, the painstaking tracings of figure eights, choosing to place a premium on jumping instead. The timing was perfect for Tonya, who was the most talented pure jumper among her generation of U.S. women skaters – and, for that matter, any generation, including today’s.

Tonya arrived at the 1992 U.S. Olympic trials overweight and out of shape. She still finished third and made the team. Then she didn’t show up at the 1992 Games in the French Alps until just three days before her competition, claiming she never got jet-lagged. After finishing fourth, she admitted that, yes, she was jet-lagged.

Soon afterward, she split with the best coach she ever had and let her soon-to-be-ex-husband help train her – when she actually decided to practice, which wasn’t often. Yet she still was good enough to make the 1994 Olympic team in the midst of the Tonya-Nancy fiasco, but she bombed in Norway, finishing eighth. Among the many ridiculous footnotes? She failed to bring an extra skate lace to the Olympics, which gave the world the iconic image of Tonya’s skate boot propped on the judges’ table when her one and only lace inevitably broke.

Tonya’s lack of respect for the opportunities she was given is as breathtaking today as it was back then. Perhaps that doesn’t make for a good movie, but it does happen to be the truth.

Alina Zagitova of Russia performs during the women’s free skate of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya central Japan, on Dec. 9. Koji Sasahara, AP Maria Sotskova of Russia performs during the women’s free skate of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2017 in Nagoya, central Japan, on Dec. 9. FRANCK ROBICHON, EPA-EFE Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi competes during the women’s free skate at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating final in Nagoya on Dec. 9. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada performs during the women’s free skate of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya central Japan on Dec. 9. Koji Sasahara, AP Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States compete during the ice dance short dance event at the ISU Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan, on Dec. 7. Koji Sasahara, AP Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao of China compete during the pairs short program of the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan, on Dec. 7. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Jason Brown of the U.S. competes during the men’s short program of the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan, on Dec. 7. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. compete during the ice dance short dance of the Grand Prix Final on Dec. 7. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada compete during the pairs short program of the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan, on Dec. 7. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Nathan Chen competes during the men’s short program of the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya on Dec. 7. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France perform during the short dance event at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final on Dec. 7. Koji Sasahara, AP Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. compete during the ice dance short dance of the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya on Dec. 7. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Shoma Uno of Japan competes during the men’s short program of the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya on Dec. 7. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA, AFP/Getty Images Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China perform during a pairs short program of the ISU Grand Prix Final in Nagoya central Japan, on Dec. 7. Koji Sasahara, AP Replay Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINEMAILMORE

As we were reminded by the events in the Michigan courtroom over which Judge Rosemarie Aquilina presided last week, rhinestones and makeup are sometimes the camouflage hiding lives damaged by callous exploitation. The courage of the young women who stood up to speak of the sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar during his time as the US gymnastics team doctor was particularly inspiring since it came from athletes whom we are accustomed to applauding, once every four years, in their guise as beaming infant-sprites, defying gravity and the restrictions of human physiology as they launch themselves around the Olympic arena in a blizzard of stag leaps and triple back saltos.

The last occasion on which rhinestones and makeup and an Olympic sport featured in a courtroom amid such headlines followed the brutal attack in January 1994 on the American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, when an assailant came out of the shadows of the Cobo Arena in Detroit after a practice session during the US national championships. Blows from a telescopic truncheon were aimed at a knee in what was immediately interpreted as an attempt to prevent her competing in that year’s Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, then seven weeks away.

On the ice, figure skaters – like gymnasts – are paragons of extreme athleticism, with a little extra helping of sweet-toothed kitsch. The maiming of Kerrigan was like an axe-murderer suddenly appearing in a Barbara Cartland novel, all the more shocking when its immediate aftermath – the skater screaming: “Why? Why” as she lay clutching her badly bruised knee – was caught by the television cameras. It would be hard to identify a more brutal example of the use of illegal methods, not only to reduce a competitor’s effectiveness – like doping a horse or juicing a boxer’s gloves – but to cheat an athlete out of the right to compete altogether.

Subsequent criminal proceedings identified the people behind the plot against Kerrigan as the friends of Tonya Harding, her great US rival, who went on to win the national title in Detroit. The plan failed, in as much as Kerrigan recovered in time to join the team in Lillehammer in late February, narrowly missing the gold medal. Harding finished eighth after a drama with a broken lace on the ice led to a plea to the judges for her to be allowed to restart the routine.

Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, eventually went on trial, along with her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, and the man said to have carried out the assault on Kerrigan, Shane Stant. All three, plus a getaway driver, served prison terms but Harding was given only probation, a community service order and a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty to obstructing justice by failing to tell the police what she knew of the plot. Later she was banned for life by the governing body of US skating, which meant that, at 23, her life as a competitor was over.

Her contention that she was not an active accomplice has been undermined by scepticism through the 24 years since the incident took place but her claims will inevitably be reinforced in the public mind by I, Tonya, a feature film starring Margot Robbie as Harding, to be released in the UK in the middle of February.

The director, Craig Gillespie, lets himself off the hook by announcing at the start that the film “is based on irony-free, wilfully contradictory, totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly”. The audience understands that this is going to be a partial version of the story and probably also one in which fidelity to the historical truth comes second to the values of entertainment.

If even half of what we learn about Harding’s background from the film is true – and her mother insists that most of it isn’t – then a measure of sympathy is certainly justified. She was brought up in relative poverty by a father who taught her to shoot rabbits and a mother who fed her skating ambitions but abused her mentally and physically, and taught her from the start to treat rivals as enemies. She became the first American female skater to land a triple axel (and even now only seven other women in the world have done that) but a lack of refinement and a brusque manner tended to alienate judges in a sport that still assesses artistry as well as technical merit.

Nancy Kerrigan performs during the Festival on Ice skating extravaganza in Las Vegas in 1995. Photograph: Lennox Mclendon/Associated Press

Horrific and funny, sometimes both at the same time, the film invites us to laugh at characters dredged up from the sump of what we now think of as Donald Trump’s America, the people the 45th president meant when he said: “I love the poorly educated.” Among them would be Harding’s acid-tongued mother, LaVona Golden, chain-smoking herself all the way to emphysema, and the delusional Eckhardt, a fat boy living at home with his mum while believing himself to be at the centre of an international counterespionage web. The director finds a way of giving us evidence that actors so brilliantly portraying those two characters, Allison Janney and Paul Walter Hauser, are by no means guilty of indulging in caricature.

But in its desire to give Harding her say, and for all Robbie’s valiant efforts to dial down her famous beauty, little that the film proposes can be taken at face value. In the end the whole project seems monstrously unfair to Kerrigan, to whom only the most fleeting references are made. I, Tonya strips away the rhinestones and makeup but wants to leave us wondering about the identity of the real victim when, just as much as in Judge Aquilina’s courtroom, there is really no doubt at all.

Tonya Harding is banned from U.S. Figure Skating Association: Part 8

Despite her disappointing finish in Norway, Tonya Harding was greeted by a small diehard — group of diehard fans. I’m glad to be home. As Tonya arrives back from the olympics, she still has some legal issues to deal with. New evidence implicating her in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan has federal authorities reconsidering their earlier decision not to prosecute the case. Can you say what the next step will be? World championships. But you’re not expecting sort of the FBI to be meeting your plane? No, I don’t think so. She comes home, and obviously her attorneys are saying, “Okay, it’s real world time. What are we going to do to keep you out of prison?” What was life like when you came back from lillehammer? I don’t remember a lot. I remember being in court. I remember losing everything. The evidence that really is difficult for Tonya Harding to explain is the most random piece of all. You have a restaurant owner who’s back in the dump behind her restaurant. I came out to empty the trash and when I opened the dumpster, I found some bags that weren’t ours. Because it’s illegal to dump your trash in somebody’s dumpster so I started going through the bag. Lo and behold, she realizes, “Wait a second. This is related to Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly.” I found some things with Jeff Gillooly’s name on it. I found a skater’s associations check receipt that was obviously to Tonya Harding. Some doodlings and things some skating arena names that were listed on an envelope. On the envelope are the handwritten words “Tony Kent arena,” the arena where Nancy Kerrigan practiced. The FBI now believes handwritten notes on at least one scrap of paper found in a restaurant dumpster were written by Ms. Harding. She knew somebody who was somehow associated with Kerrigan and she had called her to find out where Kerrigan practiced. And then she had written down the number and the name — on an envelope. So that note that they found in the dumpster? My writing was on a piece of paper. Did not write — — The rink or where she was skating. Correct. I did not write that — nobody wanted to ever believe me. The idea that she wasn’t a willing and able participant in this conspiracy is simply nonsense. I think the idea was from Gillooly, and she green-lighted it. Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, has been sentenced to two years in prison. The judge called him the moving force behind the assault. The other three men involved in the plot were all sentenced to 18 months in prison. There are a lot of people who thought, with those four guys going to prison, how is she going to avoid spending some time in jail? A dramac deal comes out of a late afternoon court hearing today. I can only surmise that Tonya and her attorneys felt that this was the one and only way to keep her out of prison was to take that deal. I would just like to say I’m really sorry that I interfered. What specifically legally did you admit to? Hindering the prosecution. Hindering the prosecution was basically an admission that she had conspired to cover up the crime after it occurred. The case against her, while good, was not as good as it was against the other members of the conspiracy. Tonya Harding gets three years’ probation, a $100,000 fine, and 500 hours of community service. But one punishment that probably hurt the most. What does today’s plea bargain mean for Tonya’s skating future? One condition of Tonya’s guilty plea is that she resigns from the United States figure skating association. The United States figure skating association stripped Tonya of her championship titles and then banned her for life from skating. That ban was her own prison sentence in terms of being able to make a living. You didn’t go to jail, but what the hell are you going to do? She had devoted her entire life to skating. She dropped out of high school her sophomore year in order to be able to continue to skate. What kind of work or occupations have you followed in the past? I know that you skate. Is there anything else that you’ve done? I’ve worked at sears. She is now left with no real other skills, and a big giant target on her back, and where does she go from there? What would have been justice, do you think? I don’t know. I have no idea. All I wanted to do was skate.

I, Tonya is a dark comedy that will simultaneously make you gasp in shock and laugh out loud.

The movie tells the story of Tonya Harding, a polarising Olympic figure skater from the “wrong side of the tracks”.

In the early 1990s, Harding made headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons.

LISTEN: The Binge hosts discuss the most shocking moments from the movie and how they compare to real life.

Just before the 1994 Olympics, she became embroiled in a plot to hurt her rival on the ice, Nancy Kerrigan.

Harding and Kerrigan were about to go head-to-head in the US Championships, a competition which would determined who would represent America at the Olympics.

Kerrigan, however, never made it to the competition.

As she was leaving a practice session at the Cobo Arena ice rink the night before the Championships, she was viciously assaulted by a stranger.

The unknown man, who was wearing at black hood at the time of the attack, targeted the kneecap on her landing leg.

The world looked on in horror as the moments before and after the attack were caught on camera. An hysterical Kerrigan was filmed lying on the ground, screaming and crying, and asking ‘Why?’ over and over again.

Luckily, the assailant didn’t break any bones. Kerrigan was left bruised and swollen and she had a severe limp, which meant she wasn’t able to compete in the Championships the next day.

Harding competed and made it onto the team. The team also decided that Kerrigan should go to the Olympics.

But in the time between the Championships and the Olympics it was revealed that Harding’s ex husband, Jeff Gillooly, and his dodgy friend, Shawn Eckhardt, were behind the attack.

While Harding maintained she had nothing to do with it, she was overwhelmingly vilified by the media and the wider public.

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Both Harding and Kerrigan competed in the Olympics, but while Kerrigan went on to have a glittering career, Harding’s career abruptly ended.

I, Tonya takes a closer look at Harding, her rough childhood, and the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of Gillooly.

The movie paints a broader picture of Harding. It takes us behind the headlines, but it still kind of glosses over the real tragedy of Harding’s life.

And, in a way, it makes the people involved in this brutal crime seem almost harmless and kind of lovable.

In reality, the people in Harding’s life were grittier, meaner, and whole lot more flawed.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Diane Rawlinson has coached embattled skater Tonya Harding for nearly 20 years.

They argue about training routines and skating outfits.

“She thinks I have horrible taste,” Rawlinson said. “I question her taste at times.”

But in the case of the attack against rival skater Nancy Kerrigan, Rawlinson said she is convinced of one thing: “Tonya is innocent,” Rawlinson declared yesterday.

For the first time since reports surfaced that Harding was implicated in the Jan. 6 assault on Kerrigan, those in her inner circle launched her defense.

Diane Rawlinson’s husband, Dennis, an attorney who represents Harding, said the skater “denies all accusations and media speculation that she was involved in any way with the Kerrigan assault.”

“Tonya is shocked and angry that anyone close to her might be involved,” he read from a statement. “She is pleased to see that Nancy is recovering quickly. She wants the U.S. team to be as strong as possible.”

Three men, including Harding’s bodyguard, have been arrested for plotting the attack that knocked Kerrigan from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

News accounts say two of those arrested have linked Harding and her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, to the attack.

Harding and Gillooly have not been charged in the case. But Detroit police reportedly asked the Wayne County prosecutor’s office to issue four arrest warrants, including one for Gillooly.

Last night Gillooly denied participating in this “bizarre and crazy event,” his lawyer, Ron Hoevet, told The Associated Press.

Hoevet said Gillooly has known Shawn Eckardt, Harding’s bodyguard, since grade school.

“How was he to know that Shawn Eckardt was going to do this act?” the lawyersaid. “There was nothing — he couldn’t have predicted that behavior.”

Meanwhile, Harding faces another problem: her Olympic eligibility.

U.S. Olympic Committee president LeRoy Walker said Harding’s voluntary withdrawal from the Winter Olympics team “would be the easiest possible out.”

USOC officials, meeting in North Carolina, expanded the basis for her possible removal, saying for the first time their decision might not be based solely on law enforcement charges.

“It will be based on law enforcement,” Walker said yesterday. “It will be based on our rules and regulations. And it will be based on what is best for all our athletes.”

Harding, the U.S. champion, and Kerrigan are scheduled to skate at next month’s Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

Michelle Kwan, 13, is the first alternate on the U.S. team. She will perform in Lillehammer if Kerrigan or Harding is unable to compete.

The team lineup can be changed as late as Feb. 21, the date of the Olympic draw. “We have to push for a decision before then,” Walker said.

But Diane Rawlinson said she expects no change in the U.S. lineup.

“Tonya is innocent,” she said. “She won nationals. She trained hard. She deserves to go.”

Standing in front of her home in the posh West Hills section overlooking downtown Portland, Rawlinson faced 50 reporters and more than a dozen television news crews, launching an impassioned, 30-minute defense for her skater.

“Tonya’s very angry and upset that anyone around her has had anything to do with this,” she said.

And what if Harding’s ex-husband is charged in the attack?

“Tonya totally believes that Jeff is innocent,” she said. “If she discovers there is anything different, she will distance herself from Jeff.”

Rawlinson also said that Harding recently wrote Kerrigan a letter, but she did not know its contents.

“Tonya is very sorry that people around her have been implicated,” she said. “She is sorry for Nancy and for all of us that this has happened.”

She said that Harding was “terrified,” after hearing of the attack on Kerrigan, that the skaters have a “very friendly,” off-ice relationship and that Harding viewed her latest title as “shallow” because of the absence of her rival.

“It was almost like no victory for Tonya,” she said. “She was mad. She was angry that Nancy had been taken out of the competition.”

Rawlinson said Harding is eager to resume her career and eager to skate at the Olympics.

Today, skater and coach are set to participate in their first workout since the national championships.

“I think there are two victims in this horrible situation,” she said. “I think Nancy first, of course. But I think Tonya’s also a victim. Tonya will not be in line to make the type of money from endorsements that she would have been in line to make.”

Rawlinson also said Harding soon will be available to tell her side of the story. “You won’t be able to shut Tonya up when she talks.”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Olympic hopeful Nancy Kerrigan is attacked at a Detroit ice rink following a practice session two days before the Olympic trials. A man hit Kerrigan with a club on the back of her knee, causing the figure skater to cry out in pain and bewilderment. When the full story emerged a week later, the nation became caught up in a real-life soap opera.

One of Kerrigan’s chief rivals for a place on the U.S. Figure Skating Team was Tonya Harding. In mid-December 1993, Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, approached Shawn Eckardt about somehow eliminating Kerrigan from the competition. Eckardt set up a meeting with Derrick Smith and Shane Stant, who agreed to injure Kerrigan for a fee.

On December 28, Stant went to Massachusetts, where Kerrigan was practicing. However, he couldn’t carry out the attack so he followed her to Detroit, where Smith met him. After hitting Kerrigan, Stant fled the ice rink in Smith’s getaway car. With Kerrigan unable to skate, Harding won the championship and a place at the 1994 Olympics.

On January 11, Derrick Smith confessed to FBI agents. Three days later, Stant surrendered and also confessed. Harding was questioned on January 18, but denied her involvement. She claimed that she would cut off any connection with Gillooly if he was responsible. The next day, Gillooly was charged with conspiracy to assault Kerrigan. Shortly after, he agreed to a deal in which he implicated Harding.

Harding then came forward, changing her story and admitting that she had learned of Gillooly’s role in the attack after the championships but did not inform authorities. Meanwhile, U.S. Olympic officials named Kerrigan and Harding to the team that would compete in Lillehammer, Norway. When the United States Olympic Committee began considering removing Harding from the team, she filed a lawsuit that successfully stopped this action.

At the Olympics, the competition between Harding and Kerrigan set ratings records. Harding’s performance was a drama in itself. She broke down crying after a lace on her skates broke. Even after being allowed a restart, Harding wasn’t able to pull herself together and finished eighth. Kerrigan took home the silver medal, and many thought she deserved the gold.

Back in the U.S., Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder the prosecution of Kerrigan’s attackers. She was fined $100,000 and sentenced to probation and 500 hours of community service. Other than Gillooly’s testimony, there was never any further evidence of Harding’s knowledge of the plans before the attack. But Gillooly got revenge on Tonya by sinking to new tabloid depths, selling graphic photos of the couple having sex on their honeymoon.

Meanwhile, Harding wasn’t above trying to exploit the crime and her notoriety herself. However, an attempted movie career was dead in the water from the beginning. Kerrigan even succumbed to the temptation years later, appearing on a talk show with Harding to promote herself.

In 2003, about a year after fighting in a “celebrity boxing” event, Harding made her professional boxing debut. Her story was the subject of the 2017 film I, Tonya.