On January 6, 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was struck after exercise at the Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan, in what would come to be one that the greatest sports scandals in history.

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The hitman to be Shane Stant, who offered a 21-inch collapsible baton to strike Kerrigan's ideal leg. He, in addition to his uncle Derrick Smith, were contracted through Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of skating rival Tonya Harding, and Harding's bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt.

So how was Harding involved? Kerrigan was her longtime competitor — the one human being in the way of her making the Olympic team. Harding's desperation to victory at all prices prompted Gillooly to collection up the attack. (Though she didn't admit it in ~ the time, Harding later on confessed in 2018 that she "knew something to be up.")


Thus, fierce competition and also the lust because that fame and also fortune were the motivations behind acquisition Kerrigan down, bringing with each other a stranger-than-fiction motley crew that amateur hooligans. The crime had all the machinations fit for a tabloid soap opera, which was many recently portrayed in the 2017 dark comedy I, Tonya.


Explore ours photographic timeline the the infamous scandal.

February 14, 1991: Harding defeat Kerrigan


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Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan and Tonia Kwiatkowski ~ above the podium at the 1991 U.S. Number Skating Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Photo: emphasis on Sport/Getty Images


A peek into their long-standing rivalry, Harding beats Kerrigan in ~ the 1991 U.S. Number Skating Championships. The following month, she to be triumphant again, winning silver- to Kerrigan's bronze at the ISU people Championships in Germany. Harding also became the very first American mrs to carry out a triple axel properly in a competition the year.

January 6, 1994: Kerrigan is attacked


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Nancy Kerrigan ~ above the cover of the 'NY day-to-day News' top top January 7, 1994, one day after she to be clubbed

Photo: NY day-to-day News via Getty Images


Fast forward three years later, and Kerrigan becomes the victim the Harding and also Gillooly's lust to win. Hired hitman Stant clubs Kerrigan's appropriate knee and cameras were able to catch the prompt aftermath. The complying with day on January 7, papers plastered Kerrigan's traumatized face on your covers together she screamed the end in tears, “Why? Why? Why? Why me?”


Fortunately because that Kerrigan, the injury left her with just bruises – no damaged bones. Unfortunately for Kerrigan, she injury to be severe enough that she was compelled to pull out of competing in the nationwide championships the adhering to night.

January 8, 1994: Harding wins gold 


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Tonya Harding pumps her fists together she finishes her gold medal-winning regime at the women's championship ~ above January 8, 1994

Photo: kris WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images


Harding wins yellow at the 1994 U.S. Number Skating Championships and is guaranteed a spot in ~ the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway — simply as she had hoped. Still, in assistance of Kerrigan who had actually to forgo the competition due to the attack, her fellow skaters readily available her a point out to contend in the Olympics together well.

January 12, 1994: Eckardt confesses


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Shawn Eckardt and Derrick Smith during their arraignment on dues of conspiracy to commit assault in the assault on Nancy Kerrigan

Photo: chris WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images


After an FBI examination is launched right into Harding's bodyguard, Eckhardt, top top January 12, Eckardt confesses to his involvement in the attack and incriminates Stant, Gillooly and also Smith, who was the driver of the getaway car.

January 14, 1994: Kerrigan holds a press conference


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Nancy Kerrigan answers concerns from the press outside her parents Stoneham, Massachusetts, residence on January 14, 1994

Photo: kris CHRISTO/AFP/Getty Images


Kerrigan tries her best to remain positive at a press conference after a number of the criminals to be formally charged. In ~ the very same time, the unified States number Skating combination (USFSA) deliberates on whether Harding should complete in the Olympics and also ultimately decides the she is enabled to because — as well as her repetitive denials of being connected in Kerrigan's attack — no evidence has arised to contradict she claims.


Jeff Gillooly listens to inquiries from cameramen on January 15, 1994

Photo: kris WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images


As the mastermind behind Kerrigan's attack, Gillooly would later surrender to the FBI four days later on after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Back Harding would continue to deny any kind of involvement, Gillooly would certainly confess ~ above January 27 that he orchestrated the assault and would additionally implicate Harding, Eckhardt, Stant and Smith.


Still, approximately this time, Harding denies involvement, issuing the complying with statement come the press: "Despite mine mistakes and rough edges, I have actually done naught to hurt the standards of excellence in sportsmanship that are expected in an Olympic athlete."

On February 1, in exchange because that a lighter sentence, Gillooly testifies against his ex-wife and pleads guilty come the crime the racketeering. Job later, Gillooly and also Harding's trash was recovered, revealing note of Kerrigan's exercise schedule in Massachusetts. A handwriting skilled confirms the the notes were written by Harding. 

After part tense jockeying in between the U.S. Olympic Committee and also Harding on even if it is she could compete in the Olympics, the committee decides she deserve to participate.

February 17, 1994: Harding and Kerrigan take the ice


Tonya Harding and also Nancy Kerrigan avoid each other during an Olympic training conference on February 17, 1994, in Hamar, Norway

Photo: VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images


With every one of the allegations swirling approximately Harding, the press is in a frenzy as soon as she and also Kerrigan re-superstructure the ice at an Olympic exercise session for the very first time since the January 6 attack. Kerrigan purposely wears the same outfit she had on once she was struck as she skates approximately Harding. Kerrigan later tells the press: "Humor is good, it's empowering."


Tonya Harding discussing a snap lace on she skate with the judges during the females skating occasion at the Winter Olympic gamings in Lillehammer, Norway

Photo: Eileen Langsley/Popperfoto/Getty Images


On the night the the Olympics, Harding abruptly stop performing throughout her very first skate due to a damaged shoelace. Although she's enabled a re-skate, the proves pointless. Harding ultimately comes in eighth location at the Olympics, with many human being calling the outcomes "karma."

February 25, 1994: Kerrigan wins silver medal


Nancy Kerrigan, Oksana Baiul and Lu Chen on the podium at the 1994 Winter Olympics

Photo: Mike Powell/ALLSPORT


With high expectation to win gold due to the infamous events that driven her into the media spotlight, Kerrigan skates her finest yet, however still falls brief of gold, thanks to a surprised upset through 16-year-old Ukrainian Oksana Baiul. Taking silver, Kerrigan appears to be displeased and also later gets caught on camera complaining around Baiul that was resulting in a delay in the medal ceremony. “Oh, come on. Therefore she’s walking to get out here and cry again. What’s the difference?” Kerrigan said, not learning the cameras to be rolling.

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March 16, 1994: Harding pleads guilty


Tonya Harding waving come cameramen ~ above January 6, 1994 - two days ~ the attack on Kerrigan

Photo: chris WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images


With evidence an installed against her, Harding officially pleads guilty come the fee of "conspiracy to hinder prosecution." She receives 3 years probation and also is slapped v a $160,000 fine. A few months later, she 1994 national championships title is revoked, and she is banned indigenous the USFSA forever.