The princess and the fighter.

6 years ago by

The princess and the fighter.

The other day, Chris and I were watching Netlfix and chilling (like, actually) and we fell upon a documentary “The Price of Gold“, from series “30 for 30”, about the scandal that happened in 94 between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

In one sentence, for those who weren’t born or don’t remember, they were both competing ice skaters. Nancy Kerrigan got attacked right before the Olympics. And Tonya Harding got accused of it. I’m not going to say more. Just know that it was a huge scandal, that the press got absolutely crazy and that, to this day, it is not entirely clear what happened.

What’s heartbreaking to watch is the story of two characters that could be from a novel.
And I’m warning you, there is no happy ending.

Nancy is a swan, gifted with beauty, elegance, kindness and grace. She could have invented the word “effortlessness”.
Tonya is a fighter. Not as pretty as Nancy, but strong, driven, real, raw. A great, bold character.

Unfortunately for Tonya, what figure ice skating was looking for in ’94 for was princesses.

And it’s sad to see her try and try and try and fail, letting anger and worries get to her and lessen her focus and her performance. It’s heartbreaking to see her not get ANY sponsors, have to make her own outfits and get criticized for them, and rehearse on a public skate rink because she couldn’t pay for a private one.

You can’t not identify with that story, and you can’t help but thinking that today, in 2016, Tonya would probably have been embraced for her uniqueness and have much more support. She makes me think of Pink, who I love. And maybe, maybe, none of the drama would have happened.

It could have been such a beautiful story… But it’s actually a great story to look back at. If you want to watch Netflix and chill (actually), one day, I totally recommend it.


Add yours
  • Always felt sad for Tanya…

  • I think ultimately what figure skating was looking for in ’94 was someone who was BOTH a princess and a fighter, and we got it–in Oksana Baiul.

  • Today is the best time to be alive.

    I agree, it would have been different for her.

    I would have funded her kickstarter campaign if she started one.

  • Jennifer January, 21 2016, 4:51 / Reply

    The 30 for 30 series is amazing, I have seen a number of them including this one. It’s so well done. What happened to Nancy is horrible, awful and all she had to go through during and after. And while I do feel badly for Tonya it’s hard to not consider her involvement, possible involvement in what happened. It is very unclear so I don’t want to condemn her by any means.
    You should watch more of these they are very good, even if you don’t like the other sports personally the stories are amazing.
    Thanks so much for sharing this post.

  • I remember watching an E! True Hollywood Story about this case… Tonya confessed of knowing about the attack.
    I don’t get your sympathy for Tonya at all, and I don’t think she deserves any either.

  • carlsbad January, 24 2016, 1:48

    I agree-, I was thinking, What? There was no doubt. And Tonya was the bad guy, dammit! I would not have helped her out at all.

  • Gilooly! Just wanted to say it cause it still makes me laugh.

  • Tonya was a fantastic skater. She was the first American woman to ever land a triple axel in competition (context: only 5 women in all of history have managed to do this, and she was the second overall), and the first woman ever to land two in one program. She also very clearly had some deep issues outside the realm of skating, not to mention abusive relationships. As a former figure skater, I always feel sympathy for her. To have those problems, and end up in a sport that is so crazy competitive and perfectionist can’t have been easy.

  • Haha, is this really what you meant by “Netflix and chill”?

  • I felt exactly the same, such a sad story. Unfair? Yes. Probably beacause of the idea of what could have been.
    Personally I didn’t buy Nancy’s side of it, I think she took advantage of the victim role (not that what happened to her wasn’t awful and also unfair) but I felt that at least Tonya always remained real, raw, and for me that is way more appealing!

    BTW Have you watched the documentary Man on Wire? I found it so beautifully sad. I totally recomend it for the next Netflix chilling session

  • I have to disagree about Tonya. Her biggest problem wasn’t that the skating world was looking for a princess, but that she didn’t train as hard as the other girls, and had gained 30 pounds, and the result was that she couldn’t land her jumps. Tonya didn’t have much artistry, but she could jump rings around the other girls, when she was in top shape. The skating world didn’t care whether Tonya was involved in the attack–they were done with her either way, because she had far more talent than Nancy, and had squandered it.

  • Ha bon parce qu’en 2016 ce n’est plus des princesses qu’on veut ?
    Les vilains petits canards suscitent parfois quelques semaines de “pitié” et de pseudo-soutien via les réseaux sociaux, mais s’imaginer que sa destinée aurait été très différente de nos jours, franchement je ne vois pas pourquoi ! Et c’est oublier le nombre de vies brisées à cause de ces réseaux sociaux et de l’exposition permanente, justement.

  • This story is so sad… But I am definitely watching this !

  • I remember that story.
    I loved ice skating as a child. I made my family roll up the living room carpet so I could perform for them as an ice skater.
    I even made them throw me paper flowers! (At that time the audience was allowed to throw flowers on the ice for the ice skaters. I loved that part!!) :)


  • Jaunemoutarde January, 22 2016, 2:15 / Reply

    C’était vraiment une époque incroyable en patinage artistique. Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojiko (1er quadruple!), Philippe Candeloro ( son interpretation du parrain et sa fameuse pirouette) , Oksana bauil ( le lac des Cygnes), Suryia Bonali ( et ses backflip interdits), les Duschenay et j’en passe, certainement et ce scandal Harding-Kerrignan! . C’était incroyable tout ce qui se passait à cette époque.
    Omg, je parle comme une vieille qui s’ennuie de son époque!!!

  • I do remember this story. And it was my birthday yesterday. And now I feel old.

  • The story is very, very sad, but I believe the evidence shows Harding was guilty. Her desperation in the film is palpable, but she had enough strong role models in her life so that she would have understood right from wrong. Kerrigan later created her own drama. Her then manager Jerry Solomon left his wife and young son, to marry her. I had Solomon’s son (and Tony Kornheiser’s…it’s small world) in my classroom. That was pretty heartbreaking too. Nancy was no hero at that point.

  • I waited on Nancy Kerrigan and Oskana Baiul at a store back in the 90’s (they were doing some kind of tour). Kerrigan was sulking and making faces/rolling her eyes while everyone was shopping. I just kept thinking, be rude, but you look like a horse with that huge overbite. Oskana couldn’t really speak English at that time, at least the person she was with kept translating for her and asking for things, but Oskana just smiled sweetly the whole time.

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