Nancy Kerrigan attack: A look back at the infamous figure skating incident 30 years later

FILE-Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding in practice together. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

What happened to Nancy Kerrigan?

One of the most notorious sports moments took place 30 years ago Saturday.  

Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was struck in the knee with a baton as she prepared to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. 

An unknown man attacked Kerrigan to prevent her from participating in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. 

Who hit Nancy Kerrigan?

Shane Stant was later identified by police as Kerrigan’s attacker when he clubbed her as she prepared to exit the skating rink from practice on Jan. 6, 1994. 

RELATED: Tonya Harding: Where is she now?

nancy kerrigan speaking at press conference

FILE-Nancy Kerrigan stands at a podium during a news conference. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)

The FBI started investigating Kerrigan’s figure skating rival, Tonya Harding, who reportedly was connected to three men involved in the attack.

FOX News reported in 2018 that the plot was orchestrated by Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, Brian Sean Griffith and Derrick Smith.

jeff gillooly

FILE-Jeff Gillooly, ex-husband of figure skater Tonya Harding, listens to questions from cameramen 15 January 1994 after picking up the mail outside the rural cabin the couple shares. Gillooly has been accused by men arrested for the January 6th 1994

Gillooly and Griffith pleaded guilty to "racketeering" connected to the attack. Harding’s ex-husband had to pay $100,000 and sentenced to two years in prison. Griffith, Smith and Stant were each sentenced to 18 months in jail.

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Despite the attack, Kerrigan competed in the Winter Olympics,winning a silver medal, while Harding didn’t qualify for any medals. 


FILE-Shawn Eric Eckardt (L), bodyguard of figure skater Tonya Harding, and fellow defendent Derrick Smith (R) are joined by Smith's attorney Robert Goffredi on January 14,1994 as they face Judge Donald Londer during their arraignment on charges of co

Harding for years denied her involvement in the Kerrigan attack, but in 1994 pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to hinder prosecution," which meant she was aware of who committed the crime but didn’t notify authorities once it happened, according to FOX News. 

The Oregon native was sentenced to three years of probation and 500 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay a $160,000 fine, according to the New York Times


U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding (C) hugs her mother Sandy Golden during her public skating session on Jan. 21, 1994 as reporters and supporters look on. A grand jury is deciding whether Harding should be indicted in relation to the attack on fellow

Harding was also banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association in June 1994. 

During a 2018 interview with The New York Times, Harding told the publication that she knew the assault of Kerrigan would follow her forever. 

Years later, the Kerrigan and Harding incident was revisited in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "The Price of Gold" in 2014, and three years later with the 2017 film "I Tonya," which addressed the incident but centered on Harding’s upbringing and rise in the figure skating ranks. 

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.