Tonya Harding biography
SynopsisIn 1991, Tonya Harding won her first national title and became the first woman to complete a triple axle in competition. In 1994, she earned notoriety when she was involved in the knee clubbing of fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan during Olympic trials. Harding pleaded guilty to hindering the investigation into Kerrigan's attack and was banned from competing in the U.S. for life.
Figure skater, boxer. Born Tonya Maxine Harding in Portland, Oregon on November 12, 1970. The daughter of LaVona and Al Harding, Tonya began skating at age three and dropped out of high school during her sophomore year to pursue the sport.
In 1991, Harding won her first National title and became the first woman to complete a triple axle in competition. She went on to receive a silver at the World championships, fourth at the Olympics and her second National title. However, in 1994, the young skater earned notoriety of a different sort when she was involved in the knee clubbing of fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan during the Olympic trials. Harding plead guilty to hindering the investigation into Kerrigan's attack, allowing her to avoid jail time. Under the plea bargain Harding was stripped of her title and banned from competing in the U.S. for life.
Since 1994, Harding has sought the spotlight in other ways, including guest appearances on Rosanne, Larry King Live and The Weakest Link. She has also participated in televised celebrity boxing matches against such opponents as Paula Jones in 2002.
Harding was married to Jeff Gillooly, who plead guilty to helping plan the Kerrigan attack, from 1990 to 1993. She was married to Michael Smith from 1995 to 1996.