Without repetition and without blowing, what comes to our minds about the slogan “famous individual competitions in the history of sports”? Very safely, he definitely thought many of these: Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal and Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird, Martina Navratilova Vs. Chris Evert, Anatoly Karpov vs. Garry Kasparov or Ayrton Senna vs. Alan Prost. Maybe even in all of them.
Nevertheless nothing like it from Nancy Kerrigan versus Tonya Harding. Far from the flashes of all the others, they caused a bigger scandal than any previous one. One of the biggest horrors the world of sport has ever seen.
Security personnel ran into the Cobo Arena in Portland, Oregon, and out into the street, communicating with them by hand. The guards told each other “all we know is that he is a tall white man in a leather jacket.”
They looked everywhere, did not stop, but did not find him: the person had already got into a car with his partner and moved away from the complex.
“Why !? Why me !?”
Inside, the tears, the cries of acute pain, the fear you feel when you think it is End Does not want From a promising career.
It was January 6, 1994. Nancy Kerrigan had just finished training and was heading to the locker room, but on her way she encountered this fugitive now. With an extendable metal pole in his hand – which allowed him to hide it upon entry – the man Hit it hard On the right leg.
The figure skater, a bronze medalist at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics, thought she was losing it all.
The attack on Nancy Kerrigan
January 6, 1994. Portland, Oregon
I discovered Tonya Harding was troubled since childhood Your willpower On the icy path when he put the blades on his feet, There was no alcohol addict or violent partner. There he was able to shine.
In 1991, when she was 20 years old and already installed among the best in the United States, she touched the sky with her hands when she was able to perform. Triple axis, the most difficult jump Found in snowboarding.
What made you think you could do this? They asked him years later.
– What makes people think I can’t? -Reply.
It is sufficient to state this to assess the scope of achievement Just another woman – Japanese Midori Ito, world champion in 1989 – I had it done by thenBut never an American, something strange considering the country’s superior discipline alongside the Soviet Union / Russia.
No one has ever seen her smile like this in her life. No one has ever seen her smile like this again.
She was given everything to show the world, at the 1992 Albertville Olympics, what was actually seen in the United States: that she could become one of the best players on the planet.
Triple Axis Tonya Harding
The leap that made history in figure skating
But It was impossible That with everything that happened in his daily life, the escape from his multiple problems was perfect and the story became a fairytale.
“I know he definitely did the best he could, however My mom wasn’t a good momTonya said in 2018 about the ABC documentary Lies and Truths: The Tonya Harding Story. And it was like that when they asked if she takes credit for her mother: “Yes, of course: When I’m the liner, people know where I got it.”
Harding admitted, “After that tournament, everything became baffling. I was twenty years old, and I ran into the public eye, and I didn’t know who to trust, who to believe.”
The setbacks and intense competition affected her in the 92nd Winter Quintet. There were three American competitors and two of them won medals. The only person who didn’t work was TonyaWho took fourth place. On that occasion he tried again the triple axis, but ended up falling out.
The other two girls were from the North American team Christy Yamaguchi (Who won the gold medal) and Nancy Kerrigan (Bronze). Was the last The new sense of country: It came from bronze and silver in the last two World Cups, and moreover, it accompanied it with what not many could explain and then they simply called it “Angel”.
The contradiction was clear And they fell like the press and the crowd, passionate about competition, like gloves. Despite her cute blue eyes and blond hair, Harding was not seen as an attractive young woman like Nancy, pulling off her black hair, dark eyes, and a broad smile propagandizing toothpaste.
“We were friends,” said the blonde in that documentary less than three years ago. Who lived the relationship closely They denied it. Journalists Anne Schatz and Connie Chung agreed, saying, “They weren’t, although there was no hostility either.”
Tonya and Nancy, they walk their separate ways, both on the path and in life.
There was little left for the citizens of ice skating, and representatives of the North American Olympic team began to emerge, since the International Olympic Committee decided, to make it more clarity, to cancel the calendar of the Summer Games of the Winter Games. Thus, 1994 would see the major sporting event in the snow once again, only two seasons after the previous release. This time in Lillehammer, Norway.
Shane Stunt I spent two days getting in Like Pancho for his home To Cobo Arena. Only once did they ask him what he was doing and the security man who asked him answered, “Another guard ordered me to come this way to find the bathrooms.”
After studying the scene, on January 6, it was behind the camera that he followed Nancy Kerrigan during her training, and when she disappeared, He drew the metal stick, extended it, and attacked it. Without looking back, he ran. To get out, he had to throw half his shoulder and half his head to break a glass door he had seen open the day before.
Just over a week later, the attacker saw on TV how they had been arrested Sean Eckhardt. He knew him: He was some kind of Tonya Harding’s personal security guard. There he began to think his luck was being cast.
Stunt was “appointed” by Eckardt Commissioned by Geoff Gillooly, Harding’s husbandA skinny man, whose mustache and hairstyle reminded us of the Freddy Mercury impersonator, Tonya had a violent relationship with him.
They offered it 6800 dollars And post (they lied about the latter) To injure Kerrigan.
Jeff Gillooly and Shawn Eckardt, accomplices in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. AP Pictures
They asked me if I could Achilles tendon cutWhich might leave her paralyzed (like this), “he said three years ago in Inside the edition. “I didn’t think it was necessary. I didn’t think about doing it either,” he said apologizing.
The figure, seemingly insignificant to such anger, meant more to him than he could earn in one year. “At that time a person’s humanity was not, You think it’s a job He said, “What should you do?”
He admitted, “I thought we’d get away with it. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t. I had no problem with what I did (leaving it outside the Olympics) until I saw the effect what he had caused. There I felt guilty.” The image of Nancy that his father held in his arms brought him back to reality.
Guilt and charge
Suddenly, snowboarding has gained an extraordinary media reputation. Hundreds of journalists began following Kerrigan and Harding and the discipline went beyond the usual limits of media to appear on Peak time the National.
Is that The scandal has grown to unimaginable proportions When Gillooly and Eckardt did not show themselves to justice and inculparon a Tonya Harding As a party to a plan to harm Kerrigan.
In the same 2018 interview, Stunt said, “I’ve never been with her, I had never met her and no one told me that this was what Tonya wanted to doHowever, he was far from getting his hands on the fire for the woman: “I don’t know if she doesn’t know what’s going on. Only she and Jeff know the truth.”
Shane Stunt, the man who beat Nancy Kerrigan. Television filming
“I was not part of the plan. Yes, I heard them talking about thingsLike, “Maybe we should get someone out to make sure she joins the team,” and I remember saying to them, “What the hell are you talking about?” Harding admitted in the documentary. That was his punishmentBoth are due to public mockery – becoming one of the most hated women in the United States – and because of the decisions sports executives will make.
Although he was involved in a legal battle with the sports authorities, he eventually admitted that he heard the conspirators But I didn’t report them The American Snowboarding Association has made it a plus Pull his address For the national hero, Hang it for life.
Today there are a number of skaters serving this sentence. Tonya Harding was the first.
In the legal framework, they fined him $ 100,000, and A. Probation They imposed on him 500 hours of community service.
Harding is serving the community in 2000. He touched her again after a domestic dispute with her partner. AP Pictures
Paredon and later
Unbelievably , Harding and Kerrigan competed in the Olympics From Lillehammer 94. I, because he launched a series of legal procedures They suspended his sentence and allowed him to participate in setting the rings. Second because Almost miraculously recovered Stunt attack.
At the tournament, Tonya wasn’t close to her potential anywhere, but Nancy was. For many, she should have been the champion of the Olympic Games. But after all, the prizes in skiing are related to subjectivity and the judges decided that the gold went to the Ukrainian Oksana Biol. Kerrigan, anyway, He won the silver medal.
Now out of the tracks, Harding ventured into the early 2000s in other fields, like women’s boxing, from some celeb bout to more serious bouts (he even opened up on an evening that ended with a stellar match with Mike Tyson), but You were not very successfulHe claimed 3 wins and 3 losses, and did not fight more. In most of his audience appearances They kept booing her.
Tonya Harding gets the punishment in her professional debut. He fell for points. AP Pictures
Despite her impressive results, Nancy Kerrigan (pictured in 2001) retired from skiing after 1994. AP Photo
A kind of reconciliation between Harding and the public began in 2017, with a series of television appearances, the aforementioned documentary, and especially the movie. “I’m Tania”, Which premiered in 2018. Starring Margot Robbie and even being nominated for multiple awards, she appeared in the victim role that made many feel sorry for her.
This Kerrigan didn’t like him at allShe appeared in the media at the time, somehow remembering that she was the “victim.” He commented in an interview with ABC News While competing in Dancing with the Stars (Dancing for the “American Dream):I have not received any direct apologies. But is this important at this point? “
A year later, Tonya is not walking around: “I paid for it. Enough apologies“.