The American figure skater Tonya Harding was considered ambitious and successful. But an attack on her great rival at the time, Nancy Kerrigan, destroyed Harding’s career and her reputation. Now, her name is inextricably linked to the greatest scandal in ice skating history to this day. But the assault before the Olympic Games only marked the beginning of another life full of tragedies and dramas. Tonya Harding struggled to find her way back to a regular life after the Olympic scandal.

Her name is known to many people outside of figure skating today too. The indignation after the occurrence of the scandal was too great and it has long since become part of sports pop culture. The film adaptation of Harding’s story with Margot Robbie in the leading role made sure of that. Actress Allison Janney even received an Oscar for Best-supporting Actress for her performance in the film in 2018. Hollywood thus set a cinematic monument to the girl who was both a perpetrator and a victim.

Mild Punishment

Life did not have good plans for Tonya Harding after all. She was a victim of systemic domestic violence, but that, of course, in no way excused her behavior. Moreover, Harding was involved in a robbery and pleaded guilty to obstructing law enforcement. Given the circumstances, she got a three-year suspended prison sentence. At the same time, the figure skater had to set up a fund for the Special Olympics. Due to all this, the figure skating federation was less lenient with her, however. They banned Harding from ice skating for life.

From Figure Skating to Boxing

But the problems were far from over. Harding was arrested again in 2000. The reason was domestic violence against her boyfriend at the time. The cause of the dispute is said to have been a hubcap that Harding threw at her boyfriend. Later, Harding tried her hand as a celebrity boxer since she could not work as a figure skater anymore. Although many observers saw this as a kind of irony; after all, Harding was already famous for her quick wit back then. In 2002 she competed against Paula Jones, who became known in connection with allegations against Bill Clinton.

From Figure Skating to Boxing
From Figure Skating to Boxing

Harding promptly lost this fight as well, but that didn’t make her give up. She began to train again and appeared as a professional in the future. Back then, she made up to $15,000 per fight. Sadly, her career in boxing also ended early. She could no longer keep up with her opponents and stopped training after only six fights.

Harding also struggled with problems in her family. When her father passed away, she suffered a personal blow. She was very close to him and in his obituary, she described him as an excellent man and father. The close relationship was mutual; Albert Harding’s greatest joy in life was seeing his daughter perform and succeed. Years later, when Harding appeared on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,” she described him as her most precious person. Finally, things are starting to look up for the athlete, Tonya Harding has now been in a relationship and married for ten years. She lives in Washington and is mainly devoted to her family and hobbies.