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Nancy Kerrigan

Winning Ways

In 1985 Kerrigan finished second at the Eastern Junior Regionals, and in 1987 she placed fourth at the National Junior Championships. After graduating from Stoneham High School, she enrolled at nearby Emmanuel College, from which she received an associate's degree. In 1988 19-year-old Kerrigan won the National Collegiate Championships, as well as three other competitions. In the same year she finished twelfth in her first appearance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. In 1989 she took first place in the New England and the Eastern Regionals, and finished fifth at the U.S. Championships. Winning a bronze medal at the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival, Kerrigan returned to take the gold in 1990.

Continuing her ascent up the rankings, Kerrigan finished fourth, third, and second at the U.S. Championships in 1990, 1991, and 1992, respectively. Her second-place finish in 1992 earned her a place on the U.S. Olympic team, along with winner Kristi Yamaguchi and third-place winner Tonya Harding. The 1992 Olympics, held in Albertville, France, was billed as a showdown between Yamaguchi and Japan's Midori Ito. Nonetheless, Kerrigan made her presence known by finishing the short program in second, behind Yamaguchi. Both Yamaguchi and Kerrigan made mistakes in their long programs, but Yamaguchi held on to win the gold medal, with Ito second, and Kerrigan taking the bronze medal.

When Yamaguchi announced that she was turning professional, Kerrigan became the top-ranked skater in the nation and proved her standing by winning the U.S. Championships in 1993. Attracting national attention, she was named by People magazine as one of the fifty most beautiful celebrities, and she was beginning to garner endorsement contracts that would finally make her skating pay off financially. However, feeling the pressure of her standing and her new role as a media darling, Kerrigan began to falter. In 1993 at the World Championships in Prague, Kerrigan, favored to win, was in first place after the short program, but she fell apart in the long program. Missing her first jump, she lost concentration and turned two triple jumps into unimpressive singles. She finished ninth in the long program and fifth overall. It was a devastating loss for Kerrigan, who sobbed in defeat after the competition.

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Famous Sports StarsFigure SkatingNancy Kerrigan Biography - Early Years On Ice, Winning Ways, Attacked, Chronology, Silver Medalist, Selected Writings By Kerrigan: - CONTACT INFORMATION