Tonya Harding – Former Olympic Ice Skater From Portland
By PDX People
Over the last 20 years, Tonya Harding’s life has been full of ups and downs that it’s sometimes hard to realize that she was once a talented ice skater and Olympic Athlete from Portland Oregon.
About Tonya Harding
Born in 1970, Tonya Harding started figure skating early in life and by the 1980’s she was quickly moving up the ranks of competitive skaters and becoming known as a top contender for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Fast forward to 1991 and she gained notoriety by landing a triple axel, and also a triple axel jump, but sadly she was never able to perform these moves during competition and her career began to slowly go downhill from this point, especially once she twisted her ankle during the U.S. Championships in 1992, and skated poorly for the U.S. Championship team in 1993.
Sadly, by 1994 Tonya Harding’s career was almost wrapped up by the time she competed in the U.S. Figure Skating championships. Her main opponent during this event was figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.
Harding tried to stop Kerrigan from competing in this event and was involved in arranging for her husband and bodyguard to break one of Kerrigan’s legs. Thankfully they were unsuccessful, and Nancy Kerrigan was eventually able to compete in the 1994 Olympics.
Due to her involvement in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding was stripped of any titles that she won during her career and banned for life from competing in figure skating again.
Over the years she’s stayed in the public eye by participating in a short-lived boxing career, setting a land speed record, and appearing as an amateur wrestler, but the world will always remember her brief figure skating career and wonder what could have been.