Tonya Harding, 20 years later


It’d be nice to get a link and a single word.

I’m curious as to why she’s speaking out now. It can’t be just because it’s the 20th anniversary of the assault on Nancy Kerrigan.

I’ve seen clips of the interview. There’s something not quite right with how Harding comes across, at least to me. I’m not sure what it is. I reckon I’d have a better sense if I watched it in its entirety.

Tonya and Nancy are both approaching middle age now. Tonya is really showing her years.

Nancy has her own Soap Opera world. Her brother is a mess.

Yea, I skimmed the article and don’t really get what we’re supposed to be “wow”-ing.

Please warn us before linking to an auto-playing video. :rolleyes:

This is another article. To me, the upshot is that Harding still denies that she had anything to do with planning the attack. It’s an amusing read though about these bumbling criminals, and the fat guy who ran an international operation out of his parents’ home (:p), and thought it would be a cool way to drum up ‘bodyguard’ business.

It’s a shame about Tonya. She had the looks, she had the skating chops, she threw it all away. What she didn’t have was smarts.

Tonya’s triple axel was just amazing. It was what, about 15 years before another American woman did one in competition. What Tonya was, was stupid and with bad judgement in men. Great athlete, but dumber than a bag of rocks.

Since Tonya was an accessory after the fact she probably should have only been banned for a couple of years. Where US figure skating would be now if only she’d been able to coach!

Looks like the photo was taken in a rare sober moment.

I need a mnemonic. I can never remember which is the evil one.

It doesn’t matter. They’ve both vanished.

Neither was very likeable.

I found Kerrigan to be whiny and bitchy, Harding just screamed bad news to me.

So true. As we head into the Winter Olympics again with no dominant female singles skaters, and lots of the best skating coaches are retiring or dying off, it IS kind of a shame that Harding couldn’t have gone into coaching. She was self coached for a couple of years of completion if memory serves so she must have had at least some idea of how it’s done.

But it should be noted that although Harding did land the triple axel in competition a time or two in her younger years, by the time she and Kerrigan were having their spotlight, she hadn’t landed it in several years and was usually not even including it in her programs anymore, and when she did include it in the lineup she’d chicken out or fall on it. She was also kind of out of shape (for a figure skater) by that time.

Maybe a better option would have been to bump the then-13 year old Michelle Kwan (she was the alternate that year, quite a feat for a youngster!) into the second slot. Indeed, the ladies singles skating DOES often get 3 berths but it was only 2 that year. I always thought it was a shame she didn’t get her shot that year.

There’s a minimum age for women’s gymnasts in the Olympics now. I don’t know what the rules are for skaters (then or now), but I can’t really get behind the idea of a 13-year-old competing in the Games.

I always sort of appreciated how Harding broke the traditional mold for women’s figure skating. If she could have avoided her worst nature, and that of her entourage, she might have really had something.

So what’s the feeling here about the results of the attack?

  1. Would Nancy have won the Gold if she hadn’t been attacked?
  2. Did the attack result in Nancy and the rest of the women’s figure skating industry making substantially more money than if the attack hadn’t happened–because of the massive publicity it caused?

I suppose everyone agrees Tanya would have been better off if the attack had never happened.

It depends on what one wants out of life. Harding has a minor gig on TruTV with other former flameouts, introducing videos of people hurting themselves. It’s not much, but if staying in the public eye is important to her, she’s got it, and she wouldn’t have it but for the attack. Hardly any other skater from that long ago still has any public presence.

Probably the high water mark in Tonya’s career and her life, right here.

She had a triple axel and that was it. The rest of her skating wasn’t especially lyrical or interesting to watch. It was ragged around the edges and lacked flow. But I agree she was dumb. Or ill advised. Her mother married five times and was abusive. She barely had any schooling. Stating was about it for her. If she’d been better coached she might have been able to add more flow and increase the consistency of her triple axel. Midori Ito won an Olympic silver medal largely on the strength of hers and very little else.

I’m pretty sure skaters must be at least fifteen to compete in the worlds and Olympics.

  1. Maybe.

Nancy’s skills were her technique. She had a beautiful jumps. Her jumps were arguably far better than Oksana Baiul’s. Kerrigan did a triple-triple combination in her Olympic long program. The best Baiul could manage was a double-double. Nancy was also a very lyrical skater with great lines and musicality. I adored her skating. It was elegant and flowy.

Here’s her Olympic long program:

Lovely music, elegant lines, clean jumps – not a single fall and that beautiful spiral. I would have given her the gold medal. The thing was Baiul brought to table was her ability to bring ballet on ice. That’s probably why she won. She was the most perfect ballerina on the ice complete with pointed toes. She was wonderful to look at. But she couldn’t match Kerrigan technically.

Here’s Baiul’s Olympic long program:

It’s also lovely. Magical even. Delicate spins. Wonderful choreography. I just don’t think she has quite the technical firepower Kerrigan did.

Then again neither of them can hold a candle to the very best performance ever which is Michelle Kwan’s long program at the 1998 Nationals:

  1. Maybe and maybe not. Figure skating has faded in prominence at least in the US since then. The US ladies haven’t even placed in Worlds since 2006.