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Tonya Harding Figure Skating Legend and Disgrace

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Tonya Harding, a very talented U.S.A. figure skater from the 1990’s, is known to most as the women who conspired with her ex husband and body guard to have fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s leg bashed in by a hit man. Harding was a phenomenal skater and was the first woman figure skater to complete the triple axle. She ruined her name in 1994 by being a part of the attack on Kerrigan. Harding’s ex husband, Jeff Gillooly planned to take Kerrigan out of the competition originally by cutting her achilles tendon to cripple her or have a sniper take her out since she was the only real competitor Harding was worried about. However, after more planning they decided to have her knee “whacked” by a police baton.

In the 1994 Olympics, Harding had a very difficult time performing for example, she wasn’t even on the ice when the announcers called her name. This was because her skates laces were not up to par and she wasn’t able to fix it. She dealt with the faulty laces for less than a minute into her skate and then began to cry and went to show the judges. In the Olympics it is a rule that you have to show the judge if something is wrong with your equipment so they can make a ruling weather or not to dock points for stopping or doing something poorly. In the end Harding left the ice and, for lack of a better term, through a hissy fit back stage. Harding had been having a lot of problems; along with the laces she also had a wardrobe malfunction and a skate blade break earlier in the season. You can watch the 1994 perfomance on YouTube.

After the attack Jeff Gilooly plead guilty to racketeering and was given a 2 year prison sentence; Harding’s body guard Shawn Eckardt plead guilty to the same charge but was only given an 18 month sentencing.Information courtesy of Daily News. Harding’s life was altered when she took a plea deal for conspiring about the attack and was stripped of all her professional skating awards and titles. The man who who hit Kerrigan in the knee, Shane Stant, was given a 15 month sentence

Today Harding is making appearances on shows such as ELLEN and and was interviewed by Oprah. Tonya Harding may have been disgraced in the figure skating world but she is putting in her work to fix her image. If you want to see more about the story of the Nancy Kerrigan attack you can watch it here. Information on Tonya Harding found here. The attack was filmed and is posted on YouTube, also an interview with the hit man can be seen here.

 

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