Nancy Kerrigan (top), Tonya Harding (bottom)
The above photo is a sneak peek at ESPN's "30 for 30" latest feature, "The Price of Gold", a documentary that examined the infamous women's figure skating scandal of January 1994. The top billed stars: Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.
It all began when Olympic hopeful Nancy Kerrigan's right knee was clubbed during practice at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly (now Jeff Stone) and co-conspirator Shawn Eckhardt, planned the attack. Eckhardt hired Shane Stant to carry out the dastardly deed.
Harding, former CBS anchor Connie Chung, former Olympic skaters Scott Hamilton and Paul Wylie, Kerrigan's coaches Evy and Mary Scotvold are among those interviewed in the documentary. Kerrigan declined. She will, however, have her own story to tell on NBC during the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
I scrutinized the documentary this past weekend. Watched it twice. Paid close attention to Harding's difficult upbringing and allowed me to understand, but not excuse the events that led to her permanent ban from figure skating. Therefore, it came as no surprise to me when the documentary did nothing to change my opinion of Harding.
In the preview clip, "The Noose Tightens", Harding says in her interview, "...everything hit all at once...and you just want to crawl into a closet and you just want to say 'go away, leave me alone', because you don't know what's going on.".
To me, the remark sounds cryptic and odd. Why? Let's break down her statement:
- "Everything hit all at once...". Interesting word choice when she says "hit".
- It isn't Tonya's modus operandi to crawl into any closets. Ever.
- If the media goes away, then she's no longer the center of attention. Which is what she wants.
- "Because you don't know what's going on." This isn't possible. Tonya had to know what was going on. Without Harding, Jeff Gillooly has no connection or motive to injure Kerrigan.