Vancouver Olympics

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Doug Mills/AP
Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding work out during an Olympic practice session, Feb. 22, 1994.

No. 4: Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan Controversy Takes Center Stage

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On Jan. 6, a month before the start of the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee after a practice for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Soon into the investigation it was revealed that the attacker had been hired by the ex-husband of Tonya Harding, one of Kerrigan’s competitors. Though Harding did not know of the attack beforehand, she learned of it soon after and lied to investigators.

The story became a tabloid sensation. At the Olympics, Harding wept during her routine after her skate lace broke, and finished eighth. Kerrigan won silver and went on to sign many endorsements and host “Saturday Night Live.”

Watch a news report of Kerrigan being attacked.


Watch Kerrigan and Harding’s long performances.
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