Facts about Tonya Harding
Tonya Harding Biography
Harding is the notorious figure skater who arranged an attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan during the 1994 US Championships. Harding began skating as a toddler, and as an amateur skater won her first national title in 1991. Considered rough-edged but athletic, she became the first American woman to perform a triple axel jump in competition. During practices for the 1994 US Championships, Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg and injured by a mysterious assailant. Harding went on to win, but thanks to what was dubbed “The Whack Heard ‘Round The World” she soon found herself in the middle of a criminal investigation. Harding was allowed to compete in the 1994 Olympics (she finished eighth; Kerrigan finished second to Oksana Baiul) but later admitted that she was involved with ex-husband Jeff Gillooly in a scheme to disable Kerrigan. Harding 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.
Harding has since continued to make headlines, usually over small-time domestic squabbles and car wrecks. In 2002 she took on Bill Clinton accuser Paula Jones in a made-for-TV boxing match on Fox TV; in August of 2002 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.