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Is Tonya Innocent?

The story behind the movie "I, Tonya"

Used with permission

Chloe Archibald, Staff

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“I, Tonya” (2017), directed by Craig Gillespie, is in theaters now and shows a surprising portrayal of a person that was a center of controversy. 

Tonya Harding is a name that most of the teen generation does not recognize. She is an Olympic Figure Skater that took to the Olympics in 1994. She ended up placing a silver medal, and was one of the two people at the time that was able to land a triple-axel spin during competition. Although she is light on the ice, it is not what she is known for by most people.

Tonya didn’t grow  up having the best life and most caring mother. This could have been what motivated her to be as good as she was, or could have been what turned out to be her downfall in the end. With the Olympics coming up in a matter of weeks, Tonya’s at the time husband, Jeff Gillooly decided to take fate into his own hands. Afraid that Tonya’s skating wasn’t going to make the cut for a gold medal Jeff, Tonya’s mother, and Tonya’s security guard hatched a plan to put Tonya on the road for success.

After practice, preparing for the Olympics, Jeff waited for Tonya’s USA competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Creeping in the hallway he waited with a crowbar clenched in his hand. He nervously walked down the hallway with a hoodie on hiding the crow bar. With one swift move he bashed Nancy’s knee and ran out the door. Startled by what he did he accidently ran through a glass door, making himself seen on the security cameras, leading to his capture. Nancy’s knee turned out to be just badly bruised, and she was fortunately able to compete in the Olympics taking the gold medal for USA.

It is still unclear if Tonya herself knew about the plan. When asked she claims she knew nothing of the sort, and merely just heard them mention it. Jeff, in a interview this year, sticks to his statement that, of course, Tonya knew of the plan. After the Olympics, Tonya went on to boxing and lives her days happily married with children.

The movie “I, Tonya” gives the true story of the events that took place in Tonya’s life leading to her downfall in figure skating.  

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