Despite its reputation of grace and beauty, there is ugliness in figure skating, too. Like any sport, skating has its sharp edges and thanks to a knee whack heard ’round the world, people know realize not all figure skaters are as wholesome as they sometimes appears.
Tonya Harding is infamous in the skating world, her name forever linked with her nemesis, Nancy Kerrigan. Harding, never the typical skating queen type, became part of a plot to bring down Kerrigan before the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. Kerrigan, bronze medallist from 1992, was expected to easily skate to Gold in Norway. Enter Harding’s husband and a bungled plot to disable Kerrigan and keep her from competing in Nationals (the U.S. Championships that determine which skaters will compete at the Olympics).
Tonya went on to claim the title, but the scandal came crashing down around her soon after. Forever tainted by the skating scandal, Harding’s now been reduced to celebrity boxing–although her name did pop up during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign:
Nancy lost anyway–to a newer, younger skating sweetheart, Oksana Baiul, who’s since had her own share of scandal.