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Tonya Harding

Tonya Harding

Highest Rated: Not Available

Lowest Rated: Not Available

Birthday: Nov 12, 1970

Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, USA

Born Nov. 12, 1970, in Portland, Ore., American figure skater Tonya Harding was a strong, talented athlete who appeared to be on top of the world when she saw her career sidelined by controversy in the early 1990s. Harding spent most of her childhood and adolescence training to be a skater. She proved early on to have a rare adeptness for skating, and as a teenager did well in competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, culiminating in her winning the Skate America competition in 1989, a title she would also win in 1991 and 1994. She was also the silver medalist at the 1991 World Figure Skating Championships. That same year, she made history when she became the first American woman to successfully complete a triple axel during competition. She was also only the second woman worldwide to do so in history, after Japanese figure skater Midori Ito. She qualified for the 1992 Winter Olympic Games and represented the U.S. in Albertville, France, finishing fourth overall. She sought to qualify again for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer. However, in the lead-up to the Games, during a practice session for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan was assaulted by a man who struck her leg just above the knee with a baton. Despite the injury, both Kerrigan and Harding qualified for the U.S. team and went on to compete in Lillehammer; Harding would go on to finish eighth overall, while Kerrigan received the silver medal. It was revealed that Kerrigan's assailant had been hired by Harding's ex-husband and a friend in hopes of preventing Kerrigan from competing. It was unclear what Harding's involvement was in this plot, if any, but she chose to plead guilty and received a sentence of probation, community service, and a fine. She was also forced to resign from the United States Figure Skating Association, and was no longer able to compete professionally. In the following years, Harding largely returned to private life, though she did spend several years in the early 2000s competing in women's professional boxing. In 2017, Harding was the subject of a critically acclaimed biopic, "I, Tonya," starring Margot Robbie. In April 2018, it was announced that Harding would be joining the cast of Season 26 of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ) as part of a special all-athlete competition.



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