Figure skating fans would definitely remember Tonya Harding, not just for her skills but for something more derogating. The controversial American professional figure skater won the 1994 Winter Olympics by conniving with her ex-spouse to stop her strongest rival from competing in the championship. Tonya was forced to quit her career in figure skating when she pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the crime.
Subsequently, the former figure skater tried her hands at boxing in 2003 and recorded only six fights with three wins before her stint in the sport came to an end. She gained more popularity when she started making appearances in movies and television shows. Even with her notoriety, it will be hard for history to forget Tonya Harding’s contributions to female ice skating culture.
Tonya Harding Bio (Age)
Tonya Maxine Harding is an American of North American heritage. She was born on the 12th day of November 1970 in Portland, Oregon. The former figure skater was born as the daughter of Al Harding and LaVona Golden, she was raised in Portland with her brother Karl Harding.
Tonya attended Milwaukie High School but had to drop out in her sophomore year so as to be able to focus on pursuing a career in skating. For a while, Tonya was successful in the sports, she even won a few awards and championships, but her doom came in 1994 when she conspired with her ex-husband Jeff to break the legs of her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan and stop her from competing in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
The consequences of her connivance were the loss of her championship title and ultimately, her ban from the Figure Skating Association of the US. Falling from the proverbial grace to grass has been tough for Tonya Harding. Since her infamous exit from her exalted position as a championship award winner, the ex-skating champ has been trying to find her forte in other careers.
Tonya’s estimated net worth has been pegged at a paltry $30,000. After her compulsory retirement from skating, she tried her hands at several other careers which include acting, music, and boxing but all to no avail. Tonya Harding even went as far as working as a welder, sales clerk, and painter. Regardless, she has not been able to attain any significant success in her recent endeavors.
Tonya’s mom LaVona Golden played a very important role in her life as she single-handedly provided for her daughter from her meager income as a waiter after her divorce from her husband. LaVona practically sewed Tonya’s skating costumes as it was impossible for them to afford one with the little income they had to survive on.
The retired figure skater once revealed that her mum physically abused her from time to time. While the woman confessed to hitting her daughter with an ice rink on one occasion, she was defended by a friend of Tonya (Sandra Luckow) who spoke in LaVona’s defense, stating that the woman was not that bad. Sandra disclosed that LaVona funded her daughter’s skating lessons and appreciated her hard work. In all, she described LaVona as a woman with a huge amount of humanity.
Spouse Or Husband, Is She Married?
On the love front, Harding has gone through three marriages. Her first marriage was to Jeff Gillooly who earned a living working in the distribution department of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Their nuptials took place on the 18th of March 1990 when Jeff was 22 and Tonya 19 but unfortunately, they did not last for long as a couple and had to divorce in August 1993 after a riotous three years together. It’s important to note that it was Jeff who planned and executed the crime against Tonya’s skating rival, Nancy Kerrigan. The crime stopped Nancy from competing in the Winter Olympics of 1994 and Jeff was jailed when he was found guilty of breaking the athlete’s legs.
Harding paid a fine of $100,000. In addition to that, she did 500 hours of community services when she pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the crime against her rival. Also, she had to withdraw from the World Figure Skating Championship in 1994, give up her membership of the United States Figure Skating Association, and was also stripped of her US Championship title which she won in 1994.
In 1995, she went into a marriage with her second husband Michael Smith. The union which is best described as a brief encounter ended the next year (1996). Her third husband (Joseph Jens Price) came on the scene in 2010. The two met for the first time at a local eatery known as Timbers and were married soon afterward. They have been living happily together ever since and their marriage is blessed with a son named Gordon.
The ex-American figure skater who has been nicknamed Bad Girl by fans is not generously gifted in height. She stands at a below-average height of 5 feet 1 inch while her body weight is 62 kg. During her days in the boxing ring, she fought in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. Luckily for her, the sports she was involved in didn’t pay much heed to height.