The story of Tonya Harding including triumphs, tragedies and ice-cold karma

The story of Tonya Harding including triumphs, tragedies and ice-cold karma

Tonya Harding’s legendary tale captures her rise to fame and abrupt fall from grace. Known for being the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition, she is considered one of the most controversial ice skaters in American history, according to her biography on’s notoriety is established in the scandal involving Nancy Kerrigan, her primary rival during the 1994 Winter Olympics. A conspiracy aimed at eliminating Kerrigan from the competition spiraled out of control. Plotted by her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and accomplice Shawn Eckardt, assailant Shane Stant struck Kerrigan with a metal baton above the knee to knock her out of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.US OLYMPIC FIGURE SKATING COACH GIVEN LIFETIME BAN FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION INTO ABUSE ALLEGATIONSPost-scandal, Harding landed on thin ice with the public and the skating world, leading to a forced resignation from the U.S. Figure Skating Association (USFSA) as part of her plea agreement for her role in the Kerrigan attack.Harding’s life is often viewed through the lens of two distinct eras: before the Jan. 6, 1994 incident and after the notorious assault on Kerrigan. Harding found her passion for ice skating at the young age of 3, showing undeniable talent that led to coaching by Diane Rawlinson, a former “Ice Capades” star, at her mother LaVona Golden’s insistence.She won her first competition at the age of 5 and completed her first triple jump at 8, according to the Olympics website. She quickly made her mark with the triple axel, her signature move.Harding’s competitive trajectory was on the rise. In 1986, she placed sixth in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, according to In 1989, she came in third place, according to the Olympics website. In 1990, she won the Skate America competition.The crowning achievement came for Harding’s career when she successfully landed the triple axel for the first time in a competition at the 1991 U.S. Championships. She repeated the move at Skate America, establishing two world records, according to her bio for “Dancing with the Stars” — a reality TV show both she and Kerrigan would be featured on post-1994. Harding’s victory in the 1994 U.S. Championships would qualify her for a spot on the Olympic team, only for the USFSA to revoke her title amid the Kerrigan scandal.US ICE SKATING LEGEND SCOTT HAMILTON REVEALS HE’S AVOIDING SURGERY FOR 3RD BRAIN TUMORPhysical abuse had been a significant part of her life, from an early age by her mother to domestic abuse by her husband.As figure skaters prepared for the 1994 Winter Olympics, an unprecedented attack left Kerrigan injured above the knee by a police-style baton. This occurred just as camera crews concluded filming her practice session.”There was a camera guy that was right behind her so I had to go behind the camera guy,” the attacker later told “Inside Edition.” “I probably was a foot-and-a-half behind him. I knew once he put his camera down and walked away it would shut off.” Immediately after the attacker smashed through glass doors and left in a getaway car, camera crews began filming again as Kerrigan cried, “Why? Why? Why?” Some sources claim she says, “Why? Why me!?” such as the New York Daily Mail. RUSSIAN FIGURE SKATING PHENOM KAMILA VALIEVA LEARNS FATE IN OLYMPICS DOPING SCANDALDue to the injury, Kerrigan did not compete in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Despite an inability to participate, she was named to the 1994 U.S. Olympic team by the USFSA.Although Harding was not the one who physically attacked Kerrigan, she was quickly implicated as a suspect in the attack against her figure-skating rival. Once details began to emerge and confessions were made, Harding was put in the spotlight for involvement in the attack, quickly gaining notoriety before the Olympics.After interviews, the FBI discovered that Gillooly and Eckhardt had initiated the attack. The assailant, Stant, was assisted by his uncle, Derrick Smith, who served as an accomplice.At first, Harding denied involvement in the attack but later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder the prosecution. This offense means that she was privy to details of the crime but did not alert authorities. Harding was permitted to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics, despite being stripped of her 1994 U.S. Championship title. She was given a re-skate by the judges after an unfortunate incident with her shoelace, an essential element of figure-skating success. Following her second attempt, she finished in eighth place, according to the Oregonian’s 1994 article “1994 Winter Olympics: Tonya Harding finishes 8th in women’s figure skating.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COMKerrigan finished in second place, securing a silver medal, symbolizing her resilience.Once Harding was restricted from competing in figure skating, she picked herself up and began a career in boxing. During her boxing career from 2003 to 2004, she had three wins and three losses, according to the Olympics website.The incident involving the figure skaters was documented in ESPN’s “The Price of Gold” in 2014 and the 2017 film “I, Tonya.” The film focused on the early life of Harding and the abuse she suffered as the ice skater pursued her dreams, manifesting the emotional toll that her mother’s child-rearing strategies had on her. “I, Tonya” was written by Steven Rogers and starred Margot Robbie as Tonya and Allison Janney as LaVona, her mother. Harding divorced Gillooly in 1993 and married Michael Smith in 1995, a marriage that lasted until 1996, according to She currently lives in Washington with her third husband, Joseph Jens Price. They have one son, Gordon. The ending credits of “I, Tonya” state that she wants the world to know she is a good mother.Stant served his prison sentence and underwent a significant personal transformation. He shared his story about his conversion to Christianity during his incarceration with news outlets like Bleacher Report and expressed to “Inside Edition” a sense of gratitude for the prison time that catalyzed this life change.After Gillooly’s release from prison in 1995, he changed his name to Jeff Stone, according to Good Housekeeping and other accounts. He is now a car salesman and lives in Oregon with his current wife, according to an interview with Deadspin. He also has two kids with his ex-wife, who committed suicide in 2005 after a battle with drug addiction.

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Publish date : 2024-07-09 16:48:39

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