Thursday, 6 January 2022

triple axel or i, tonya

On this day in 1994, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was assaulted and bludgeoned with a police baton after practise by hitman Shane Stant in an ice rink arena in Detroit, the attack arranged by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of rival skater Tonya Harding with the intent of stopping Kerrigan from competing in ongoing championships and out of the Winter Olympics and improving Harding’s chances for success. At first Harding denied any knowledge of the conspiracy to take out the competition but later admitted to trying to conceal the attack in its aftermath, eventually disclosing more involvement. Kerrigan recovered in time for Lillehammer, with both skaters competing in the Winter Games. Later, Harding was disciplined with a life-long ban from participating in figure skating events. The incident and drama is summarised in Weird Al Yankovic’s 1994 parody of the Crash Test Dummies’ “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm,” “Headline News”:

Once there was this girl who
Swore that one day she would be a figure skating champion
And when she finally made it
She saw some other girl who was better
And so she hired some guy to
Club her in the knee cap.