Tonya Harding

Figure Skater
Date Of Birth:
12 November 1970
Place Of Birth:
Portland, Oregon
Best Known As:
Champion skater who had her opponent's knee whacked

Name at birth: Tonya Maxine Harding

Tonya Harding is the notorious figure skater who conspired in an attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Tonya Harding began skating as a toddler, and as an amateur skater won her first national title in 1991. Rough-edged but athletic, she became the first American woman to perform a triple axel jump in competition. During practices for the 1994 U.S. Championships, on January 6, 1994, her rival Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg by a mysterious assailant. Kerrigan, injured, dropped out -- and Harding went on to win the Championships. But thanks to what was dubbed "The Whack Heard 'Round The World," Harding soon found herself in the middle of a criminal investigation. Tonya Harding was allowed to compete in the 1994 Olympics (she finished eighth), but later admitted that she was involved with ex-husband Jeff Gillooly in a scheme to disable Kerrigan. Harding pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution, was stripped of her national championship and banned from amateur skating; Gillooly got two years in prison. The scandal hit its lurid peak when a personal video of their wedding night was sold through Penthouse magazine. Tonya Harding later continued to make headlines, often over small-time domestic squabbles and car wrecks. She took on Bill Clinton accuser Paula Jones in a made-for-TV boxing match on Fox TV in 2002; in August of the same year she was sentenced to ten days in jail for an alcohol-related probation violation. Harding tried her hand at professional boxing in 2003, and the next year signed to make a one-game appearance with the Indianapolis Ice of the Central Hockey League. Interest in the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan story was renewed with the 2017 feature film I, Tonya, with Harding played by actress Margot Robbie and Kerrigan played by Caitlin Carver.
Extra Credit

Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly were married in 1990, and divorced in 1993. Tonya Harding married Joseph Jens Price on June 23, 2010. Their son, Gordon, was born in 2011… Nancy Kerrigan also made the 1994 Olympic team, and won a silver medal by finishing second to Oksana Baiul… After his release from prison, Jeff Gillooly changed his name to Jeff Stone.

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