It’s a Hard-Knock Life for Harding

At the end of the day, what’s better than being remembered for our achievements? You’d think with a list of accomplishments that includes six U.S. figure skating titles not to mention being the first woman to complete a triple axel in a short program and the first woman to successfully execute two triple axels in a single competition, folks would talk of nothing else. However, one mention of Tonya Harding, and your mind might recall something else indeed.

Perhaps it was the attack on Harding’s rival, Nancy Kerrigan, on this day in 1994 and the ensuing media frenzy that comes to mind. The assault happened in Detroit after practice for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Kerrigan’s injury kept her from competing while Harding came in first. However, it was only a matter of time before Harding’s luck would run out, starting with the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer where she failed to place while Kerrigan took home silver. To add insult to injury (pun intended), Harding eventually pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution of Kerrigan’s attackers – who just happened to include her ex-husband and bodyguard. Oops!

After serving out a sentence of probation and community service, Harding did what any self-respecting American would  – she made a sex tape. Minor celebrity status resulted and all that goes with it, alleged DUIs and domestic disturbances. And who could forget the bout on Fox’s Celebrity Boxing? Perhaps Harding would like us to but she did defeat Paula Jones – another one for the accomplishments list!

-Tara Losinski