Tonya Harding, born on November 12, 1970, is an American reality television star and former figure skater. She spent much of her childhood training, eventually dropping out of high school to focus on ice skating classes. She won the 1989 Skate America competition after rising through the ranks of the United States Figure Skating Championships between 1986 and 1989. She was the first American woman and the second woman in history (after Midori Ito) to land a triple Axel in a competition in 1991. Harding has two Olympic medals and two Skate America titles. Let us commemorate this athlete’s life here.
Tonya Maxene Price Harding was born in Portland, Oregon on November 12, 1970. LaVona Golden, her mother, raised her in East Portland. She began skating at the age of three, and by the age of four, her mother had taken her to Diane Rawlinson, who had coached her in figure skating. She had a difficult childhood because her mother frequently abused her physically and psychologically. She began spending time with her father, Albert Gordon Harding, in her early teens and learned about numerous automobiles from him. Throughout her adolescence, she also began hunting and competed in various drag races. Harding, who was a student at Milwaukie High School, dropped out to focus completely on her figure skating career. She went on to earn her general equivalency diploma and devote her time to skating.
She continued her training with Diane Rawlinson and began competing in figure skating contests across the United States. She finished sixth in the United States Figure Skating Championships in 1986. She rose to popularity as a figure skater after winning Skate America in 1989. Her major break came in 1991 when she won the U.S. Championship with ease after landing her first triple axel. She landed a triple axel again in the World Championships that year, becoming the first American woman and only the second woman in figure skating history to accomplish it. She became the first woman to land two successful triple axels in a single competition after becoming the first woman to land a triple axel in a short program. She was then the first woman to land a triple axel with a double toe loop. Harding then had a bad run and was never able to land the famed triple axel jump again after 1991. She twisted her ankle during a practice session for the 1992 U.S. Championship and was unable to win the championship. Her subsequent efforts in the Winter Olympics and other competitions were poor, and her name was withdrawn from the World Championship squad. She regained her winning ways in 1994 when she won the United States Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.
In 2003, Harding made her professional boxing debut. She did not show up in another professional boxing event for a year after losing her debut battle. Her boxing career was cut short due to her health issues. She got three victories and three losses towards the end of her boxing career. Before marrying Joseph Price in 2010, Harding had two failed marriages. On February 19, 2011, they were blessed with a son. Harding has worked as a painter, welder, clerk, and deck builder since retiring from boxing. She skates three times a week and is still proficient at completing leaps and spins. She is currently residing in Washington, D.C.
She rises in popularity as a figure skater after winning Skate America.
Her major break comes when she lands her first triple axel.
She twists her ankle during a practice session for the 1992 U.S. Championship.
She wins the U.S. Championships in Detroit.
Harding makes her professional boxing debut but loses the match.
“The Tonya Tapes” reveals details surrounding her attack on Nancy Kerrigan.
She works as a commentator for the show “truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest.”
Harding participates in “Dancing With the Stars: Athletes.”
Why We Love Tonya Harding
She takes control of her life
Harding's life was on a roll and she was on her way to a bright future. Her talent shone brighter than her unpleasant demeanor and less-than-prestigious upbringing, which the judges mocked. For once, she was in control of her life and narrative.
A champion in her own right
Despite her strong technical skills, the judges penalized Harding for her homemade costumes, use of metal music in her routines, and poor behavior that clashed with the image of a refined figure skater — an image that Nancy Kerrigan fit to a T. Despite this, she has won prestigious titles such as Skate America Winner and U.S. Figure Skating Champion.
She wants to win
Following the scandal surrounding her attack on Kerrigan, Harding was unlikely to earn the big endorsement deals she had anticipated. But she continued to skate. She wasn't there for the money; she was there to prove herself to everyone who questioned her. She was determined to win.
5 Surprising Facts
She has been banned
Following the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, she was banned from skating.
Her mother sewed her costumes
Coming from poverty, many of her skating costumes were sewn by her mother.
She was a victim of acquaintance rape
Chris Davison, her half-brother, molested her multiple times as a youngster.
Harding threatened to sue the Olympic Committee
They had to determine whether to let Harding compete on behalf of the U.S.
She was judged by her looks
According to her, there was a year she wore a bright pink color costume and one of the judges told her never to wear anything like that to the championships or she'd never participate in another one.
Tonya Harding FAQs
Did Tonya Harding break Nancy Kerrigan's knee?
Fortunately for Kerrigan, the injury left her with just bruises.
Why did Tonya Harding cry on the ice?
She broke down crying after a lace on her skates broke.
How much time did Tonya Harding get?
Harding was convicted of hindering the prosecution in the aftermath of the attack on Kerrigan but he was spared prison time.
Tonya Harding’s birthday dates