All the drama! The Olympics may be an event that is all about the sports activities, but that doesn’t mean that the most shocking things happen during the tournaments. Throughout the years, many controversial incidents have made headlines outside of the event.
During the 1994 games, ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked with a baton to the knee and her longtime Olympic rival, Tonya Harding, was accused of knowing about the attack beforehand.
Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and his friend Stephen Eckhardt were both charged, and they pleaded guilty to racketeering for their involvement in the incident. Harding, for her part, has continued to deny that she knew anything about the plans to harm Kerrigan beforehand. At the time, she did end up pleading guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution. The former ice skater was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association and was sentenced to three years’ probation.
Following the release of the acclaimed biographical film I, Tonya in 2017, Harding hinted that she may have known about the attack.
“I knew that something was up,” Harding said during the ABC special Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story in January 2018. “I did, however, overhear [him and his friend Eckhardt] talking about stuff … ‘Well, maybe we should take somebody out so we can make sure she gets on the team,’” Harding recalled. “I remember telling them, I go, ‘What the hell are you talking about? I can skate.’”
Harding also spoke about the video footage that was shared of Kerrigan following her attack.
“It makes you cringe, hearing it,” Harding said of clip where Kerrigan can be heard screaming in pain after she was injured. “You know how much that it had to have hurt.”
Kerrigan, for her part, admitted that she was “busy” and didn’t end up watching the film that reexamined Harding’s point of view in the situation.
“I was at the national [figure skating] championships this week, so I didn’t watch the Golden Globes. I haven’t seen the movie. I’m just busy living my life,” she told The Boston Globe in January 2018.
The Dancing With the Stars contestant admitted that she wasn’t interested in revisiting that part of her life and that she considered the film’s resurfaced focus of what happened to her at the Olympics “weird.”
“A bizarre thing. The whole thing was crazy, being that it’s a story. I mean, come on,” she noted.
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