1994 : Nancy Kerrigan Assaulted at Joe Louis Arena

January 6, 2023 all-day

Image result for nancy kerrigan photoKerrigan and Harding in Lillehammer

On January 6, 1994, the United State Figure Skating Championships, taking place at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, were marred by violence and scandal as Nancy Kerrigan was hit on the knee when she was exiting a practice session at Cobo Arena. It was later determined that the attack was orchestrated by supporters of Tonya Harding, who was skating against Kerrigan in the ladies competition. Kerrigan’s …injury rendered her unable to skate in Detroit, and Harding subsequently won the ladies’ title. However, Kerrigan recovered in time for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway the next month and won a silver medal. Harding finished 8th at the Olympics, and later was stripped of her U.S. title when the full details of the attack emerged.

The bizarre attack is playing out again this week in theaters across the country in the film “I, Tonya,” starring Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding.

For more information, see Angelique Chengelis, “Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding drama unfolded 20 years ago Monday in Detroit”, Detroit News, January 4, 2014.

Oralandar Brand-Williams , “Biggest story of ’94 Olympics tied to The Joe“, The Detroit News, March 31, 2017, updated April 7, 2017

I, Tonya released in 2017.  (Also available as DVD)  Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is a dark comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous and poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie as the fiery Harding, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, and an original screenplay by Steven Rogers, Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career in all of its unchecked—and checkered—glory.

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