Nancy Kerrigan Speaks Out About Tonya Harding 20 Years After Infamous Scandal

The Olympic medalist calls the legendary controversy "sad" in a new documentary

Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters/Landov; Splash News Online

It was the whack heard around the world and Nancy Kerrigan has been largely silent about it — until now.

The now-retired Olympic medal-winning figure skater agreed to participate in the NBC documentary Nancy & Tonya, which debuts Sunday just before the Winter Olympics closing ceremony. Its airing marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Winter Olympics figure skating competition and highlights the scandal that gripped the nation.

Both Kerrigan and Tonya Harding — who has been more vocal over the years about the infamous incident — sit down for the documentary and offer differing viewpoints on what happened after Kerrigan was struck in the knee just prior to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit in January 1994.

"It's sad, the bizarre craziness that all transpired," Kerrigan says in the documentary, per the New York Post. "It's too bad, because she's talented."

The documentary chronicles their rise in the figure skating world — Kerrigan from a supportive middle-class home in suburban Massachusetts and Harding from a hardscrabble blue-collar background in Oregon — and relives the memorable moment when Kerrigan wailed "Why me?" after getting hit, a moment she says "just changed everything."

Although Harding, now 43, was almost immediately implicated in the attack, Kerrigan, now 44, says she initially gave her fellow skater the benefit of the doubt.

"I had people asking me, 'Do you think she had anything to do with it?' And I, my reaction to that was, 'That's ridiculous.' To me, this had to have been some random act," she says.

However, she later hints that her thinking changed.

"I can remember saying to the FBI, 'Well, maybe Tonya really didn't know, maybe they did [the attack] for her," she says, referring to Harding's then-husband Jeff Gillooly, bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt and Shane Stant, who delivered the blow. "And they said, 'Nancy, we can't prove it, but we think she was the mastermind of the whole thing.'"

Meanwhile, Harding maintains her innocence. "I have apologized so many times, she is not worthy of my time anymore," Harding tells NBC's Mary Carillo, according to the Post. "I proved my innocence, yet people still think I was involved."

Nancy & Tonya airs Sunday (7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT) on NBC.

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