President Joe Biden has been attacked over the infamous figure skating incident that ruined the two-time Olympic medalist’s career

It’s been 28 years since the assault on Nancy Kerrigan, which took place just before the 1994 US Figure Skating Championships. The incident turned figure skating into an absolute madhouse. It was the biggest scandal in sports history where Tonya Harding, Kerrigan’s rival, was accused and found guilty of attempting to obstruct competition through attack. But what does United States President Joe Biden have to do with it?

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In a tweet, freelance journalist Luke Rudkowski compared the state of the US economy under President Joe Biden with Kerrigan’s onslaught.

What was the Kerrigan-Harding scandal?

In January 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was the favorite for the title of the American championships. Her biggest competition for this event was her compatriot Tonya Harding. In fact, judges and fans expected both ladies to be chosen by the United States for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in February. Kerrigan had a bronze medal at previous Games and Harding was the first American to land the triple axel.

By the afternoon of January 6, Kerrigan had finished training for the championships at Cobo Arena. A film crew had filmed her getting out of the ice but hadn’t followed her past the curtains. As she stepped off the ice and down the hallway, a man, later identified as Shane Stant, followed her, punched her lower right thigh, and walked away. It was only after hearing her scream that the cameraman chased after her.

The injury rendered Kerrigan unable to compete in the championships. Subsequently, the person who benefited the most from his withdrawal, Harding, became the center of the incident. Within days, police arrested Jeff Gillooly, Harding’s then-husband, for orchestrating the assault. Along with him, three other men were arrested: co-conspirator Shawn Eckardt, assailant Shane Stant and his uncle, Derrick Smith.

Gilooly had wanted to break his leg so that he could not participate in the Olympic Games. However, Stant failed to carry out his instructions and Kerrigan recovered as Lillehammer rolled. Despite the injury, Kerrigan earned a silver medal. Meanwhile, Harding struggled with his boot laces and failed to finish anywhere near the podium. The image of Harding with his boot leaning on the judges’ table is etched in Olympic history.

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Tonya Harding found guilty

While at first Harding denied any knowledge of the attack, she later pleaded guilty to helping to cover up evidence of the assault afterwards. Reporters followed Tonya everywhere she went, rummaged through her trash cans and even hid outside her house to get a statement.

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It remains unclear whether Harding had any knowledge prior to the attack. Her estranged ex-husband maintained that she not only knew about the attack, but gave the green light to carry it out. A graduate jury sentenced Harding to three years probation and a $100,000 fine. The US Figure Skating Association, unconvinced of his innocence, banned Harding for life.

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Several years later, in 2017, Hollywood released a movie called “I, Tonya” starring Margot Robbie. The film showed Harding’s life as a figure skater and her perspective on the incident. He challenged the image blinded by ambition painted by the media of her. Harding appeared for interviews for the film and interest in the scandal rekindled. Notably, she remained strong on her initial claim of innocence.

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