Top 10 Athletes Who Had It All And Threw It Away: #8 Tonya Harding

Tonya Harding Mug Shot

Tonya Harding had a promising career ahead of her as a member of the 1994 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. She won the U.S. Figure Skating Championship in 1991 and placed second in the World Championships. But, in January of 1994, just months before the Olympic Games in Lilehammer, Norway, Harding linked herself with infamy. During a practice session just prior to the 1994 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Championships, Harding’s Olympic teammate, Nancy Kerrigan, was viciously attacked, her knee badly bruised by an assailant with a baton. As a result, Kerrigan would withdraw from the competition, leaving the door open for Harding, who won the competition. Days later, however, the attackers were captured and they implicated both Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gilooly in the assault.

Tonya Harding Denies Involvement In The Attack Of Nancy Kerrigan

Tonya Harding would initially deny any involvement in the incident with Kerrigan, however, she did admit to “failing to report things” about the assault. She was still allowed to compete at Lilehammer, where she finished a disappointing eighth. After the games were over and Harding returned home, she was charged with conspiracy to hinder prosecution for withholding knowledge about the assault on Kerrigan. She was fined and banned from competing in U.S. figure skating for life.

And It Keeps Getting Worse…

After her ban, Harding spiraled even further down when a “tape” was released that involved Harding and ex-husband Gilooly, made on their wedding night. Also, she was arrested for drunk driving and charged with a beating she dished out to her boyfriend which involved a hubcap, of all things. Harding would go on to appear on Fox TV’s “Celebrity Boxing” in which she would face and defeat Paula Jones.

Perhaps Tonya Harding Is Turning Her Life Around

Nowadays Harding can be found adding her commentary to home video clips on The Smoking Gun’s TV show, “World’s Dumbest.” After all that she has done and been through, Harding seems to truly regret the decisions of her past. She is looking forward to a new chapter in her life, but her days of infamy may continue to haunt her.

Do You Believe The Public Will Be Able To Forgive Tonya Harding?

About Jay Crawford

Jay is a die hard sports fan {football and college basketball being his favorites}. His favorite teams are the Carolina Panthers and Tarheels and, of course, his alma mater, the Appalachian Mountaineers. He spends his free time listening to music, especially KISS, Def Leppard, the Eagles and a lot of the newer country music, and watching comic book and action movies. The more special effects - the better.


  1. I think that all people deserve to turn their life around and try again. I also think it will be hard for her.
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  2. I think every one deserves second chances but it doesn’t mean their past will not affect their future. We will see what happens but she may be better off staying out of the limelight if she wants a “normal” life.
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  3. It’s really sad to see someone throw it all away. I believe in getting second changes, and hope they all find it.
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  4. You know, it still doesn’t seem like she feels bad about it.
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  5. Everyone should be entitled to a second chance at life. Who are we to judge here on earth?
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  6. If she is turning her life around then I believe everyone deserves a second chance.

  7. She worked soo hard and threw it all away… I totally think a second chance is in order.. if she wasn’t in the spotlight she would have moved on with her life, too… great post, a lot of info that I didn’t know about Tonya…thanks for sharing
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  8. I remember this incident like it was yesterday. She initally didn’t own up to it but I think now in her older years & watching her on a news story in the last couple of years, she does feel remorse. I think people can change & do deserve a second chance including Tonya Harding.

    Great post!
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  9. I don’t know how I feel about this. Yes, everyone deserves a second chance… but I’m not feeling it for her. She’s dirty.
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  10. If she can truly get a turnaround, I say yes.
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  11. Ah that is a flashback which seems like happened so recently! She never bounced back completely unfortunately.
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  12. Funny, I just saw Tonya on TV at the gym the other night. I remember when it all happened. SUCH big news! This woman is seriously hard to feel sorry for.
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  13. This woman is pure white trash, I don’t care where she came from – and yes, I lived by her so I know exactly where she grew up. She’s a sorry excuse for an athlete. I don’t care if she turns herself around (doubtful) – what she did was inexcusable. How dare she continue to walk among the free.
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  14. Wow – I remember all of the stuff around the skating scandal. I followed the Lilehammer olympics closely. I had no idea about her other infamous actions though… what a brute!
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  15. I’m not sure if the world even really cares about Tonya Harding anymore. That’s the bigger question to me. I’m thinking I don’t, but if she turned her life around, I’m happy for her.
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    • Dawn McAlexander

      Yeah, I saw her on World’s Dumbest a few times and thought she was sort of funny…then I realized who she was and it soured me on her pretty quick. I am thinking that I need to see a big, fat, SINCERE apology to Nancy Kerrigan, that doesn’t start with “I’m sorry IF I hurt you..” before I would want to see anything else from her.

  16. I am hopeful that she can be forgiven. I like to think that people can get another chance to lead good, productive and responsible lives.
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  17. So sad! I remember the Tonya Harding thing. So crazy!
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  18. I remember this. People have long memories…… they won’t forget and I don’t know that anyone would be willing to give her another opportunity

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