The Sochi Winter Olympics’ Ladies Figure Skating is due on February 19, but the day marks more than the Short Program; this time 20 years ago, during the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, the United States’ top skaters, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan started a never-ending feud which has now been renewed in dueling documentaries courtesy of ESPN and NBC, which will air during Sochi Olympics. Harding’s questionable involvement in the attack over Kerrigan marked the future of both professionals.
For 20 years, there have been two sides of the Harding- Kerrigan story, but the feud has been renewed in dueling documentaries that show unseen faces of the top skaters, one of which will air during the Sochi Olympics: NBC bets on the victim of the attack, who has gracefully been avoiding the media for two decades, and ESPN‘s version of Tonya Harding, The People’s Skater for those who believed she did not plan the attack on the Silver Gold winner.
Fast-forward 20 years, Nancy Kerrigan, the skater who was clubbed on the right knee before 1994’s Winter Games is now a figure skating analyst for NBC during this year’s Games in Sochi, while Tonya Harding still pays for her presumable involvement in the former’s attack, although she repeatedly stated that she does not care whether America still has something against her. The infamous tomboy skater may have been kicked out of skating, but her “30 for 30: The Price of Gold” image painted by director Nanette Burtein and brought by ESPN, countered by NBC’s emphasis on her rival which is due to air during the Sochi Olympics is a clear hint that the feud between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan has been renewed in dueling documentaries.
ESPN Revisits the Unsolved Case
In “30 for 30: The Price of Gold,” Harding continues to maintain her position and utters that she had no idea that her husband Jeff Gillooly and the men who helped him plot the attack on Kerrigan wanted to boost his wife’s chances at winning the gold medal by eliminating her competition.
Director Nanette Burstein focused her attention on Tonya Harding’s hard life and the way she was treated during her years as a professional skater. The “little barracuda,” as she was once called by her former coach Dody Teachman was “the ugly ducking” of skating, while Kerrigan was dubbed “America’s next Ice Queen.”
Harding was and remains a colorful character in the delicate world of skating who didn’t have money for costumes and whose mother was not the loving, calm natured-type. In contrast with the hard-working skater, Kerrigan was dressed pro-bono by Vera Wang and she already had a handful of endorsements prior to the Olympics.
“She’s a princess,” Tonya Harding said referring to Nancy Kerrigan. “I’m a piece of crap.”
NBC Bets on Kerrigan
Nancy Kerrigan, the victim of the attack remained quiet for 20 years, allowing a mouthy Harding to tell her version of story, but the feud could be renewed in dueling documentaries once NBC airs the feature narrated by sportscaster Mary Carillo during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Although the documentary includes interviews with both skaters, the spotlight has been moved from Tonya Harding to Nancy Kerrigan.
“It took years to convince Nancy (Kerrigan),” Carillo said.
Carillo also mentioned that while Harding has been public for the last 20 years, Kerrigan was quiet, which determined her to convince the latter to take a stand and tell her part of the story. ultimately, Carillo and producer Margaret Grossi convinced the victim of the attack which occurred 20 years ago to cooperate.
“I trusted Mary and Margaret to really tell the story with my perspective,” Kerrigan said.
Although NBC’s feature has not been aired yet, although the release day should occur during Sochi Olympics, rumors say that the feud between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan will be renewed in dueling documentaries, each focusing on a skater and portraying undisclosed parts of the story.
By Gabriela Motroc