Tonya Harding is an American figure skater who ruined her future within the sport when she was implicated within the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Winter Olympic trials.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Harding was raised primarily by her mother, who enrolled her in skating lessons beginning at age four. Harding would spend much of her youth training, eventually throwing in the towel of highschool to devote her time to the game. After climbing the ranks within the U.S. ice skating Championships between 1986 and 1989, Harding won the 1989 Skate America competition. Harding took the silver at the planet championships and placed fourth at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France. She made history the previous year when she became the primary woman to land a triple axel jump in competition at the 1991 U.S. ice skating Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Harding trained as a figure skater throughout her youth with coach Diane Rawlinson. within the mid-1980s, she began working her high competitive skating ladder. She placed sixth at the 1986 U.S. ice skating Championships, fifth in 1987 and 1988, and third in 1989. After competing within the February 1989 Nationals Championship, Harding began training with Dody Teachman as her coach. She then won the October 1989 Skate America competition and was considered a robust contender at the February 1990 U.S. ice skating Championships. However, she was affected by the flu and asthma and had a poor free skate. After the first program, she dropped from second place and finished seventh overall. Harding was a strong free skater and typically had lower placements within the compulsory figures.
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