(Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan -"love ya . . . .really!")
Here we are, smack in the middle of the 2010 Winter Olympics. What better reason then that to take a look at an Olympic scandal just before the 1994 Winter Olympics? The Nancy Kerrigan/Tony Harding assault scandal. Two aspiring skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were on the U.S. team, hoping for Olympic Gold heading for Lillehammer. During a training session in a Detroit rink on January 6, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by a then unknown assailant, leaving her injured and raising questions with officials whether she could compete or not.
The story was shocking and it quickly unraveled. Within days arrests were made and fingers started pointing in the direction of team mate Tonya Harding. Over the next several weeks the story played out like a bad episode of Gerry Springer. Harding was kicked off the team but threatened a lawsuit and was reinstated. She would wind up finishing 8th while Kerrigan, still recovering from her injuries, finished 2nd to win Silver. Eventually Harding would confess to having masterminded the attack and she was banned from future skating.
But from January 7 to the 28th, the scandal was lead story on most newscasts, with the exception of the bitter cold snap in the east and the Earthquake in Los Angeles. Still, America loves a good trainwreck.
Robert Weaver (Tonya Harding Attorney): “Tonya would like me to express her appreciation for all of those people who continue to support her in what is her sole and primary focus. Namely, to prepare for and represent the United States with distinction in the Olympic games.”
Here is a compressed rundown from January 6-28 as the events unfolded.
February 10, 1994 - a shaky ceasefire in Sarajevo four hours old. UN Peacekeepers and NATO troops skeptical and hopeful. Two members of the British Parliament and a British Aid Worker kidnapped in Somalia. Israel and PLO in partial agreement over autonomy issue in Gaza and Jericho. Tonya Hardings slaps $22 million lawsuit against the USOC for barring appearance at the Winter Olympics. Famed U of Oklahoma Coach Bud Wilkinson dies at 77. Read more...