Nancy Kerrigan Returns to the Winter Olympics 2014, Sochi
Former Skating Medalist Named Analyst 20 Years After Infamous Tonya Harding Attack.Now Nancy Kerrigan Joins NBC’s OIympics Coverage.
Nancy Kerrigan is joining NBC Olympics for its Winter Games coverage in Sochi, Russia, the network announced Tuesday, Jan. Twenty years after her infamous wounding at the hands of Tonya Harding’s henchman, Nancy Kerrigan is returning to the Winter Olympics 2014. Instead of hitting the ice, the two-time Olympic medalist will serve as a figure skating analyst for NBC’s Olympics coverage in Sochi, Russia. NBC has hired former figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan as an analyst for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next month.
The network is also planning a 45-minute report on the attack on Kerrigan by associates of rival Tonya Harding 20 years ago Monday during the U.S. figure skating championships at Detroit’s Cobo Arena. In addition to NBC and NBCSN, Kerrigan will appear on numerous NBCUniversal shows, including “Today” and “Access Hollywood” as well as on E! She worked as a correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight” at the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics games and hosted “Nancy Kerrigan’s World of Skating” on CN8 (now the Comcast Network).
Following her assault at the 1994 U.S. Nationals – a friend of Harding’s ex-husband hit Kerrigan’s leg with a baton; a year after winning the gold, Kerrigan went on to nab silver at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. She became the first U.S. woman in over 40 years to win figure skating medals in consecutive Games. Kerrigan had also won the bronze at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville. She retired later that year and was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2004.
She also has participated in an NBC documentary from veteran sports correspondent Mary Carillo, in which Kerrigan will speak for the first time about the ordeal that captivated the country 20 years ago and arguably kick-started the reality television genre.”It’s still one of the biggest sporting events in television history,” said Carillo, referring to the women’s figure skating final that earned an astounding 48.5 rating, a number unheard of in today’s fractured media environment.
“What we tried to do was a character study,” said Carillo. “It took years to convince Nancy. Tonya Harding has been very public for 20 years. She has used her fame and infamy to get all kinds of things; she was on a TV show, she boxed. [Kerrigan] has stayed very quiet. And I understand that. They both became something of a punchline.”
Sitting on a dais in Studio 8H between NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell and Carillo, Kerrigan’s face twisted into a frown as Carillo recounted the incident. “Getting attacked,” said Kerrigan, “that’s not something to celebrate.” The documentary does not yet have an air date. But it will air in primetime during NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Olympics, which begins Feb. 6 with the team figure skating competition.
Kerrigan admits she was nervous about how she would be portrayed and that her on-camera statements “would get twisted and turned because that’s happened before,” she said. “That always made me reluctant to be part of something.” But Kerrigan said she agreed to cooperate with the documentary because she felt comfortable with Carillo and Carillo’s longtime producer, Margaret Grossi.