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Tonya Harding Is Determined To Put Her Scandalous Past Behind Her Once And For All

While sins of the past never completely fade away, at least some level of forgiveness can eventually be afforded to those that sincerely attempt to make amends. That’s not always the case for those that are at the center of extraordinarily high-profile scandals, as the stigma will follow them for the rest of their lives. That’s especially true when it’s unclear exactly how remorseful they are for what they have done.

Tonya Harding is quite familiar with that. The former figure skater rocketed to fame during the runup to the 1994 Winter Games, but it wasn’t because of her prowess on the ice.

Rival skater Nancy Kerrigan was the victim of an attack that left her sidelined, and investigation of the incident would reveal that Harding’s fingerprints were all over it. More than 20 years later, Harding is still regarded as a pariah, but she’s trying to put things behind her once and for all.

As the Daily Mail shares, Harding recently sat for an interview that will be featured on ABC’s Truth and Lies series, and she reveals that she’s still summoning the strength to come to terms with her lot in life.

“It's my faith in myself and my father that comes back to me and makes me get back up off my butt and be something worth being proud of. I always wanted my daddy to be proud,” she said.
“And now, I want my son to be proud.”

That makes it sound like she’s on the right track, but that’s tempered by the fact that she seems to still want to deflect blame for what happened. While she didn’t personally carry out the attack, there was no question that she was involved behind the scenes. Despite that, she seems to suggest she received far too much scorn.

“The media had me convicted of doing something wrong before I had done anything at all. I'm always the bad person,” Harding said.

“Is it a challenge from the lord to see how far I can be pushed until I break and become nothing. You can't push me that far anymore because I've been nothing. And I've been nothing several times.”

Kerrigan has moved on with her life, but the scandal still gets constantly broached with her. She addressed where she’s at with things during a 2014 interview.

“I don't know. I don't think about it really. When I read transcripts from the FBI, they planned to kill me at one point. That was one of the options. To kill me over a sporting event. That's crazy,” Kerrigan said.

“There were all these other brutal options that they were thinking about doing to me. I've moved on, I don't think about it as forgiveness. I just hope she's happy... and can be able to move on.”

It sounds like Kerrigan has the situation in the proper perspective, but the jury remains out on Harding. Quite simply, it was a bad scene, and Kerrigan’s career - and leg - was nearly wrecked as the result of the attack. The people behind that are going to be forever stigmatized as a result.

While we hope that Harding finds the inner peace she seeks, that’s not going to happen unless she comes to terms with her role in the scandal without deflecting blame.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, ABC

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