In 1994, I was in sixth grade. My cousin (a year older than me) was learning how to figure skate, and even competed in local events. I was her biggest fan, and in turn, became mesmerized by the sport. Anytime there was a figure skating competition on TV, my sister and I would settle in to watch. We even pretended to be judges sometimes, offering our own scores for the skaters after each performance was complete. I couldn’t wait for the Olympics to begin.
Then, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked. I was in shock over the brutality, and the unfolding details of the soap opera-style saga, all linked to Tonya Harding. I recorded every news report, saved every magazine clipping, and waited—with the rest of the world—to see if Nancy was able to bring home the gold in Lillehammer.
Sure, my devotion may have been a little over the top, but at the same time, I remember how much of a hero Nancy was to me as a kid. She overcame so much to compete, and it’s the first time I can remember absolutely idolizing an athlete or celebrity figure. It meant so much to me to see her do so well (even if her golden girl status was short-lived after that).
Now—20 years later—ESPN has released an awesome documentary about the scandal called The Price of Gold. For anyone who followed the events of 1994, it’s a great recap, and also introduces a slightly different vantage point than the one that I had as a kid. I still think Tonya was in the wrong, but it is interesting to watch a story with such an obvious media bias unfold.
What do you think? Is this a story you followed closely? Or am I the only one?