‘My life ended in a different way’: Infamous figure skater Tonya Harding breaks down in tears as she watches her historic 1991 triple axel jump – three years before a failed assault on her rival ended her career
Retired professional figure skater Tonya Harding got emotional talking about her career on Channel Seven The morning show on Friday.
The 50-year-old seemed almost unrecognizable compared to her sporting heyday and broke down in tears as she discussed the moment she made history as the first American woman to triple-ax jump in a competition.
The mother of one of them described the moment, which happened 30 years ago at the 1991 US Figure Skating Championships, for host Matt Shirvington and Kylie Gillies.
Sensitive topic: Retired professional figure skater Tonya Harding got emotional during a rare TV appearance on Channel Seven’s The Morning Show on Friday
“I was like, ‘God, please, please, I’ve worked so long and hard for this. Let me do this,” Tonya recalled.
And when I landed it, I thought, ‘Oh my God. “‘
Tears welled in the Olympian’s eyes and her voice broke as she admitted that the moment still “feels like yesterday.”
Memories: Tonya broke down in tears at one point as she discussed the moment she made history as the first American woman to triple-ax jump in the competition. Pictured in 1994
A Lifetime Ago: The 50-year-old looked almost unrecognizable compared to her sporting heyday (left, in 1994) during her interview with hosts Matt Shirvington and Kylie Gillies
She then apologized to the Australian hosts for getting emotional, saying the historic moment is ‘so exciting every time I look at it’.
Shirvington asked the Dancing with the Stars contestant, ‘What do you think when you watch [footage of the triple axel jump]? ‘
Still tearful, Tonya replied, “It reminds me of that time in my life when I could have gone one way and ended up another.”
Tragic: Harding’s career ended at the age of 24 when her life was banned from participation by the United States Figure Skating Association. Pictured with journalist Connie Chung in 1994
On-screen image: The controversial athlete was famously portrayed on-screen by Australian actress Margot Robbie in the 2018 biopic I, Tonya
Harding’s career was cut short at the age of 24 when she was banned from participation by the United States Figure Skating Association for life.
The ban stemmed from her admitted involvement after the attack on her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan.
Kerrigan was attacked during a training session in 1994 during an attack orchestrated by Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly.
Divorced at Birth: Margot was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the movie
After being banned from figure skating, Harding began forging a boxing career, before appearing on several reality TV shows such as DWTS and Worst Cooks in America.
The controversial athlete was famously portrayed on-screen by Australian actress Margot Robbie in the 2018 biopic I, Tonya.
Margot was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the movie.
Afterlife: After being banned from figure skating, Harding (seen in 1994) started a boxing career, before appearing on several reality TV shows, such as DWTS and Worst Cooks in America