The infamous event, known as "The Whack Heard Round the World," took place over twenty years ago at a 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships practice session. Kerrigan, the favorite to win gold in the championship, was attacked by a man named Shane Stant who struck her in the leg with a police baton. In the ensuing investigation, Stant was revealed to have been hired by Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt.
Kerrigan and Harding both went on to compete in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics despite the controversy. Kerrigan won the silver medal, and Harding finished in eighth place.
Harding's suspected involvement in the attack made her subject to constant media attention, until she avoided further prosecution and potential jail time by pleading guilty in March 1994 to conspiring to hinder prosecution of the attackers. In June of that year, the United States Figure Skating Association concluded in their own investigation that Harding had previous knowledge of the attack and banned her for life from participation in USFSA events. All three men involved in the attack served jail time.
The scandal has been documented many times before, but the new NBC special will be one of the rare times that Kerrigan has spoken about the event. Mary Carillo has new and exclusive sit-down interviews with both skaters in the documentary.
The one-hour program, Nancy & Tonya, will air Sunday at 7 p.m. EST, and will feature new and archive interviews with both Kerrigan and Harding. The program makes its debut before the 2014 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, and airs in the wake of Thursday's controversial Olympics ladies' final figure skating results.
Preview Nancy & Tonya here.
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