How Far Would You Go for Gold?

This week’s post has a little Olympics flare to it with focusing on The Price of Gold. The documentary chronicles Tonya Harding and the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. This film is an interesting look on the high price that comes with going for a Gold medal and the tough world of figure skating.

Tonya Harding grew up on the wrong side of the tracks with an abusive mother and an insane talent on the ice. Nancy Kerrigan, while also from a blue collar family, was the epitome of glamor and poise the princess of ice skating. They were polar opposites, the haves v. the haves not.

Nancy Kerrigan was attacked following the USA Championships in 1994, which served as the Olympic Trials for the 1994 games. She was struck in the knee resulting in a deep bone bruise and did not skate in the Championships. Tonya won the Championships and the focus of the investigation into the attack shifted towards Tonya Harding.

It was later revealed that Harding’s ‘body guard’ Shawn Eckhardt was involved in planning the attack, along with Shane Stant and Derrick Smith from the Oregon area were charged with attacking Kerrigan. Harding’s husband at the time Jeff Gillooly was charged as the master mind of the attack and immediately they all threw Tonya under the bus as one of the planners of the attack.

The question remains did Tonya have anything to do with it? I’m not 100% sure that she did in fact have a hand in the planning. I think that her husband Gillooly saw her as his meal ticket because he knew that if Harding won a Gold Medal she would be set for life so he hatched the plan to make sure that she won a medal. Tonya was then guilty by association, which to the media is just as damning as if she had actually done it.

The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that she probably knew after the fact that something happened, but I firmly believe that Tonya did not have anything to do with the planning. Sure, she was desperate to win a medal and make something of her life, but I find it very hard to believe that she would risk her career just to take out a competitor instead of beating her on the ice.

It also raises the question as to how far would you go to win gold? How would you have handled the pressure that came along with the media scrutiny that followed the attack? Would you have been able to perform well knowing that everyone thought you were guilty? Would you be able to pull off a Gold Medal performance knowing the whole world was waiting for you to fail?

We will never fully know if Tonya Harding did in fact have anything to do with the attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the US Championships in Detriot that year, but before you cast your stone put yourself in Tonya’s shoes and think about the price of gold and what you would do to get it.

 

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