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Nancy Kerrigan (born October 13, 1969) is a two-time Americanmarker Olympic figure skating medalist and 1993 U.S. champion.


Early life

Kerrigan was born in Stoneham, Massachusettsmarker. She took up skating at age six. She grew up with brothers who played hockey, and often joined in herself. She describes herself as having been a "tomboy." She won her first figure skating medal at age nine. Kerrigan was coached by Evy and Mary Scotvold.

1991–1992 competitions

Her first placement at a major international competition was at the 1991 World Figure Skating Championships, when the United Statesmarker team scored a medal sweep in the ladies' event. Kerrigan received the bronze medal behind Kristi Yamaguchi and Tonya Harding. She received a bronze medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics (Yamaguchi won the gold), and the silver medal at the 1992 World Championships. The following season she became United States Champion and was leading the World Championship in Praguemarker after the short program when a disastrous long program resulted in her tumbling to fifth in the standings and a win by Oksana Baiul.

January 6, 1994 attack

Kerrigan gained considerable fame beyond the skating world when, on January 6, 1994, she was hit in the knee with a collapsible baton by Shane Stant at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroitmarker, part of a planned assault on her, masterminded by rival Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and friend Shawn Eckardt.

Kerrigan's haunting cry of "Why, Why?" to her attackers was preserved in ESPN's Sports Century video, which chronicled the most important sports moments of the 20th century. Though Kerrigan was not able to take part in the Olympic trials due to injury, the USOC gave her a spot on the team with encouragement from Michelle Kwan, to whom the spot would have gone.

1994 Winter Olympics and Walt Disney World controversy

A month after the attack, Kerrigan won the silver medal in the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics at the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatremarker, finishing second to Oksana Baiul by 0.1 points. While Kerrigan and bronze-medalist Chen Lu waited over 20 minutes for Olympic officials to find a copy of the Ukrainian anthem, someone mistakenly told her the delay was because Oksana was putting on make-up. Kerrigan then made the statement on camera that implied that Baiul would just wreck her make-up, an allusion to Baiul's tendency to cry in front of the camera. After Norwegian security had advised Kerrigan not to attend the closing ceremonies citing a lack of security for her, Kerrigan was criticized for leaving the Olympic venue to take part in a pre-arranged publicity parade at Walt Disney Worldmarker, her $2 million sponsor. It was there that she was caught on microphone during the parade saying "This is dumb. I hate it. This is the most corniest [sic] thing I have ever done." She later said her remarks had been taken out of context: she was commenting not on being in the parade, but on having to wear her silver medal in the parade. Others have wondered if Kerrigan landed higher profile endorsements than gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi because of the publicized incident, or her better fitting an "all-American" image.

Life after retirement from active competition

Kerrigan retired from active competition after the Olympics. She has appeared in a variety of ice skating shows and played a small part in the 2007 film Blades of Glory with Will Ferrell.

Kerrigan also appeared in the 2006 FOX television program Skating with Celebrities.

On October 27, 2008, Kerrigan was honored at Ice Theatre of New York's annual benefit gala.

Personal life

Kerrigan was born to Brenda and Dan Kerrigan. She has two brothers: Michael and Mark. She graduated from Stoneham High School and attended Emmanuel College in Bostonmarker to study business.

Kerrigan created The Nancy Kerrigan Foundation to raise awareness and support for the vision impaired. Kerrigan's mother, Brenda, is legally blind.

Kerrigan married her agent, Jerry Solomon, on September 9, 1995. They have since had three children together: Matthew Eric, born December 1996; Brian, born April 14, 2005; and Nicole Elizabeth, born May 14, 2008. The family currently resides in Lynnfield, Massachusettsmarker.

Competitive highlights

Event 1986–87 1987–88 1988–89 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94
Winter Olympics 3rd 2nd
World Championships 3rd 2nd 5th
U.S. Championships 12th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st
Piruetten 1st
Skate America 2nd
Trophée Lalique 3rd
Nations Cup 1st
Goodwill Games 5th
NHK Trophy 5th
Novarat Trophy 1st


  2. Harding, Kerrigan are linked forever by skating incident, accessed July 11, 2006.
  3. [1] "Nelson Wang looks at the major league game of athletic endorsements, to find out if Asian Americans get fair play".
  4., December 1, 2008
  5. Skater Kerrigan Gives Birth to Baby Boy - Birth, Nancy Kerrigan :; Nancy Kerrigan Welcomes Third Child

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