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Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding Relive Olympics Scandal 20 Years Later

Tue, January 7, 2014 11:03am EDT by Emily Longeretta 2 Comments
Tanya Harding Nancy Kerrigan

With the Olympic games right around the corner, the world is remembering that tragic attack that happened twenty years ago on Jan. 6, 1994.

Nancy Kerrigan, 24 at the time, was on her way to the locker room before the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, when she was hit in the leg with a police baton by Shane Stant — who later was discovered as Tonya Harding‘s ex-husband’s friend. It quickly became the scandal of the year. Now, twenty years later both women are reflecting on what happened.

Nancy Kerrigan & Tanya Harding: 20 Years Later

“I really don’t look back unless someone asks me to look back, and then I have to,” Nancy, now 44, told USA Today Sports in recent interview. “Otherwise, why would I? I was attacked.”

Nancy went on to say she “doesn’t remember” much of the drama.

Tonya placed eighth in the Olympics following the incident and did end up pleading guilty to a felony of hindering the prosecution. She completed over 400 community service hours and paid $160,000 in fines. Meanwhile, Nancy trained harder and went on to win silver at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics just six weeks later.

While she claimed she had no participation in the attack, the US Figure Skating Association took away Tonya’s Championship titles from ’94 and forbid her for ever partaking in USFSA-run events.

Nancy Kerrigan: Why Would I Talk To Tonya Today?

“I know it was a horrible time for everyone involved. It was a bad streak, going through all the crud, and I was able to rise above it. I think Nancy and I have good lives now,” Tonya told USA Today this week. However, while they have separate lives — Nancy lives in Woburn, Mass. and Tonya in Portland, Oreg. — they are not friendly with one another.

When asked if she had spoken to Tonya, Nancy answered: “Never. No. For what?”

We can’t say we blame her! Tonya is focusing on being a mother, but would not give the name of her three-year-old son.

“There are so many crazy people out there. You never know what people will do,” she said.

As for Nancy, she’s just trying to move on.

“I didn’t ask for the special podium people put me on,” she said. “I was put in the spotlight, and people looked at everything I did. I didn’t ask for that, any of that. I think some people were saying (Tonya’s name) before we left nationals. I was like, ‘Come on, that’s ridiculous.’ Then when we started to hear that it was in fact true, it was hard to put it in my brain. It was absurd and crazy, and I didn’t get it. Why would someone do that? What did I do to her? Nothing.”

Let’s just hope nothing like that ever happens again!

— Emily Longeretta