The Harding/Kerrigan Documentary

Earlier this season, I wrote a post about a documentary that takes another look at the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan scandal from 1994. I found a video of it on youtube so for those of you who are curious, watch it before it gets taken down.

I found that the documentary was fascinating and explored some of the darker corners of the sport including the influence of the judges and the media. I think it also really gives a prime example of the bigger issue of gender, sports and endorsements first mentioned in that Slate article. If you haven’t or don’t have time to read the article the main argument is that for female athletes, their looks are more important than their successes in their respective sport – they have to fit a specific image to be marketable and get endorsements and if they don’t have that image, they have to work harder so that their successes can overshadow their image. This differs from the marketability of male athletes whose image is secondary to their successes in the sport in terms of their marketability

In any case, watch the documentary and tell me what you think in the comments! Were you more sympathetic towards Tonya or do you think she still had a part in the attack?

~The Rinkside Cafe

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. unidebt
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:39:00

    Tonya disgusted me during the whole documentary. She wants to play the victim but gives nothing for me to feel sorry for. Her attitude posses no humility whatsoever, she has little understanding of courtesy and comes across as very unempathic. I understand her upbringing wasn’t the best, but so many others have been through that sort if thing and don’t come across as snooty and pig-headed as her.

    I mean, she went off at Carrigan about whining when Baiul won… When she’s there whining the whole damn hour about something she was associated with. The hypocrisy and inability to see the errors of her ways AND then making countless excuses for her failures. It like when rap stars come from the gutter and make a bit of money then get this huge ego and start putting gold of everything, and when they go bankrupt they blame everyone but themselves, she’s like that but with attention.

    Anyway, I think things have changed slightly in women’s figure skating. Yes being marketable is important and the nature of figure skating is very visual so it’s hard to expect much of a difference.
    At least when it comes to sport in the UK if an athlete is successful male or female, people tend not to pay too much attention to how they look. Unless it’s a racial thing. From Rebecca Adlington to Jessica Ennis.
    Then again Yamaguchi and Kwan race didn’t hinder their success too much, even Debi Thomas was right up there… Harding could have more easily adapted to the role better than the others I’ve named. Unfortunately she didn’t have the right attitude and the people she surrounded herself with weren’t ideal.


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