On January 6, 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked after coaching at Cobo Enviornment in Detroit, Michigan, in what would change into one of many largest esports scandals in historical past.
The killer was Shane Stant, who hit Kerrigan in the fitting leg with a 21-inch folding cane. He and his uncle Derrick Smith had been signed by Jeff Gillooly, ex-husband of skateboard rival Tonya Harding and Harding’s bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt.
How did Harding get entangled? Kerrigan was her longtime rival—the one one standing in the way in which of her making the Olympic workforce. Harding’s want to win in any respect prices prompted Girulli to arrange for the assault. (Whereas she didn’t admit it on the time, Harding later admitted in 2018 that she “knew what occurred.”)
Fierce competitors and a thirst for fame and fortune had been the motivations for overthrowing Kerrigan and bringing collectively an odd, motley crew of novice hooligans. The crime has all of the hallmarks of a tabloid cleaning soap opera and was final seen within the 2017 darkish comedy I, Tonya.
Try their long-running rivalry: Harding beats Kerrigan on the 1991 Determine Skating Championships in the USA. The next month, she gained once more, taking silver and bronze for Kerrigan on the ISU World Championships in Germany. Harding additionally turned the primary American to efficiently full three-axis motion at that yr’s competitors.
Three years later, Kerrigan fell sufferer to Harding and Girulli’s want to win. The employed hitman Stant punched Kerrigan in the fitting knee, and cameras had been capable of seize the instant aftermath. The following day, January 7, the paper featured Kerrigan’s traumatized face on the entrance web page, and she or he cried tearfully: “Why? Why? Why? Why me?”
Fortuitously for Kerrigan, the harm left solely bruises — no damaged bones. Sadly for Kerrigan, her harm was so extreme that she was compelled to withdraw from the nationwide championships the next evening.