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Tonya Harding - Biography

Tonya Harding

Born on 12 November 1970, Tonya Harding is a former figure skater. Tonya born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Harding started sketing at the age of 3. On her trip to the Lloyd Center, she watched other kids skating and then wanted to try it, she becomes natural at the age of 5. Tonya got the attention of Diane Rawlinson (former star of Ice Capades). Form then for several years Diane become Tonya's coach.

Tonya's childhood was not so good, her mother (LaVona) was allegedly abusive and her father (Al Harding) suffered from physical problems. Her family had little money and was very unstable.

At the age of 5, tonya won her first competition, while at the age of 8, Tonya did her first triple jump, it was quite an amazing and rare for an 8 year old. Since 12 Tonya began experimenting the Triple Axle.

At the age of 19, Tonya married to Jeff Gillooly. But there marrage was not successful, she had filed several complaints to police during their three year marriage. The couple gets divorced in the summer of 1993, but reconciled shortly thereafter.

In 1988, Tonya won a Russian award, she was the first American woman to win this title. The major point comes in Tonya's career in 1991, as she won her first National title, at the Target Center in Minneapolis at Senior Nationals. Tonya earned a 6.0 for technical merit, the first perfect score any woman had received in this competition in nearly 2 decades. Also she became the the first US woman, and the only other woman in the world, to complete the Triple Axle.

Tonya then went on to Worlds, where she performed this difficult jump once again, and received the Silver medal. Later she participated in Skate America, where she broke 2 world records and won the championship.

Tonya began touring with Tom Collins Champions On Ice in 1991. At that time she was known as the first and only woman to land a Triple Axle in both the short and long programs. In her first Olympics she was placed fourth. Before Olympics she performed a quad loop jump in a Texaco commercial.

In 1994, she becomes the first place at Nationals. The same year she has gone to do a movie called 'Breakaway', recorded a CD of an original song, which she dedicated to the victims of the Oklahoma bombing tragedy, done numerous interviews, and appearances. In 1997 she performed skating at a hockey game in Reno and received standing ovations from the first sell out crowd ever at one of their games.

In 2000 Harding made a huge comeback at the ESPN professional competition in Huntington West Virginia, where she was invited to compete in her first competition in five years and placed 2nd. At that event she got a warm welcome from audiences with standing ovations and the TV show Entertainment tonight had one of the largest viewing audiences the week they did the interview with Tonya. E! Cable network made a show on Tonya's life, and it is still one of the most watched personality profiles they have done.

Tonya did acting in one of the HBO comedy hits, Arli$$. Also she has been the guest on the Rosanne show, The Maury Show, and interviewed twicw on the Larry King Live show, on CNN. Tonya also hosted a whole week of program, called "Bad Boy's Week" for TNN cable network. Also in Charleston, she was the guest of the Charleston River dogs baseball team. She was also the guest of the Jacksonville Sun’s ball club, in Florida. She also appeared on the TV game show, “The Weakest Link”. Tonya and some other celebrity did this for a charity, while Tonya donated her portion to NOVA.

Attack on Nancy Kerrigan
Tonya becomes the part of headline in newspapers with the case of harming competitor Nancy Kerrigan on January 6, 1994 at a practice session during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Her Jeff Gillooly had hired Shane Stant to strike Kerrigan on the knee. Tonya Harding went on to win that event, while Kerrigan withdraw from compeition due to injury.

When Tonya admitted that she had helped to cover up the attack, then both the United States Olympic Committee and USFSA decided to remove her from the 1994 Olympic team, but still with this threatening legal action Tonya performed in 1994 Olympics and finished eighth while Kerrigan, recovered from her injuries, finished second.

After conducting the investigation of the attack, the U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Harding of her 1994 title and banned her for life from participating in any of its sanctioned events, or from becoming a sanctioned coach.

Boxing Career
Tonya's boxing career starts with the Fox TV Show "Celebrity Boxing" in 2002, where she played against Paula Jones and won the fight. In 22 February 2003, Tonya made her official women's professional boxing debut, where she lose a four round decision in the undercard of the Mike Tyson-Clifford Etienne bout. At Creek Nations Gaming Center Tonya won her third pro bout against Alejandra Lopez.

It was reported on March 23, 2004 that Tonya cancelled a planned boxing match against Tracy Carlton in Oakland, California because of an alleged death threat against her. After a gap of year, she boxed on June 24, 2004 in Edmonton, Alberta, where she was beaten by Amy Johnson. As of Jan 2005 Tonya's record is 4-3-0 (1 KO).

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