PSG Women star Aminata Diallo is arrested for ‘hiring two men to attack and injure a club team-mate’
American ice-skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were competing for a spot at the 1994 Winter Olympics and were long-standing figure skating rivalries. But things turned nasty…
– Jan 6, 1994: The night before the US National Figure Skating Championships, Kerrigan is attacked by hired hitman Shane Stant, who used a 21-inch collapsible baton to strike Kerrigan’s right leg.
Smith, with his uncle Derrick Smith, was contracted by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of Harding and Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt. Cameras caught the aftermath and Kerrigan’s face as she screamed: ‘Why? Why? Why? Why me?’
– Jan 8, 1994: Harding wins gold at the 1994 Championships, guaranteeing her a spot at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway a month later.
Yet in support of Kerrigan, her fellow skaters offered her a spot to compete in the Olympics as well…
– Jan 12, 1994: Harding’s bodyguard, Eckhardt, confesses to the attack after an FBI investigation, and incriminates Stant, Gillooly and Smith, who was the driver of the getaway car.
– Jan 14, 1994: The United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) deliberates on whether Harding should compete in Lillehammer and decides she is allowed to since no evidence has emerged to contradict her claims.
– Jan 27, 1994: Gilolly, the mastermind behind the attack, confesses and implicates Harding, Eckhardt, Stant and Smith.
Harding denies involvement, issuing the following statement: ‘Despite my mistakes and rough edges, I have done nothing to violate the standards of excellence in sportsmanship that are expected in an Olympic athlete.’
The U.S. Olympic Committee eventually decides that she can participate.
– Feb 25, 1994: Harding finishes eighth in the Olympics, while Kerrigan wins the silver medal.
– March 16, 1994: Harding pleads guilty to the charge of ‘conspiracy to hinder prosecution.’ She receives three years probation and a $160,000 fine. Later, her 1994 national championships title is revoked and she receives a lifetime ban from the USFSA
Everyone involved in Kerrigan’s attack serves jail time, aside from Harding.
Tonya Harding eventually pleaded guilty to knowing about the attack on her rival
Nancy Kerrigan was attacked ahead of the 1994 Winter Olympics by a hired hitman