Monday, January 6, 2014

This Day in Pop Culture: January 6, 1994

Skater Nancy Kerrigan is Attacked
One of sport’s most bizarre events happened on this day on January 6,1994. Just two days before the Olympic trials, American skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked at an ice rink where she suffered a blow from of a club on the back of her knee from a mystery man. Soon, all fingers were pointing to fellow team member, yet professional rival, Tonya Harding. It was soon discovered that Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, set up the attack, hiring two men to do the job. Kerrigan was unable to compete and Harding won the championship assuring her a place at the 1994 Olympics. Later, the attackers both confessed but Harding denied that she was involved with the incident in any way. Then she admitted that she did know of her ex’s involvement of the attack, but failed to tell the authorities. About that same time, the U.S. Olympic officials named Harding and Kerrigan to the team that would compete in Lillehammer, Norway. The committee considered dropping Harding, but she filed a lawsuit to stop that plan. Later at the Olympics, NBC enjoyed high ratings as everyone tuned in to see if there would be more drama on the ice. They were not disappointed. During Harding’s performance, one of her laces broke and she stopped during the middle of her routine. Surprisingly, she was allowed a restart, but finished in 8th place and Kerringan brought home the silver medal. Back in the mainland, Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder the prosecution of Kerrigan's attackers. Today, Kerrigan is known as a skating champ and Harding is seen reguarly as a commentator for Tru TV’s “World’sDumbest” television show. 

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