29 Years Ago This Month, Nancy Kerrigan Was Attacked in Detroit
The figure skating world was turned upside down 29 years ago in Detroit.
Figure skating was at the forefront of every news broadcast in the early days of January 1994. While practicing for the United States Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Michigan, Nancy Kerrigan was viciously attacked after a practice session at Cobo Arena.
As Kerrigan left the ice, she was struck in the right lower thigh with a police baton. After the attack, the assailant fled the scene but was later apprehended by police. The attacker was named Shane Stant. The attack itself was orchestrated by Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and another man named Shawn Eckardt.
Tonya Harding was Nancy Kerrigan's rival and the attack was made in an effort to keep Kerrigan from competing in the upcoming National Championships, as well as the 1994 Winter Olympics set to take place in Lillehammer, Norway. Footage of the aftermath of the attack quickly circulated throughout the world and can be seen below.
Kerrigan quickly recovered after the attack and went on to compete at the 1994 Winter Olympics just seven weeks after. She ended up winning the silver medal. Ukrainian figure skater Oksana Baiul won the gold medal and Chen Lu of China won the bronze medal. Tanya Harding finished in eighth-place.
As a result of a USFSA disciplinary panel meeting, the panel concluded that Harding did have prior knowledge and was involved in the incident. Because of this, Harding was stripped of her U.S. Championship title from 1994 and was also banned for life from participating in any future USFSA events as both a skater and a coach.
The entire attack has since gone on to become a movie called I, Tonya which was released in 2017.