Tonya Maxene Harding is an American figure skater who also boxed professionally after her professional skating career ended. She was the 1991 U.S. champion and 1991 World Championship silver medalist. Harding was also a two-time Olympian and a two-time Skate America Champion. She was the first woman to successfully execute two triple Axels in a single competition, and the first to complete a triple Axel in combination with a double toe loop.
In the mid-1980s, Harding began working her way up the competitive skating ladder. She placed sixth at the 1986 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, fifth in 1987 and 1988, and third in 1989. After winning Skate America in 1989, she was considered a strong contender at the 1990 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but she was suffering from the flu and asthma and had a poor free skate. After the original program, she dropped from second place and finished seventh overall. She was a powerful free skater and typically had lower placements in the compulsory figures.
Harding's breakthrough year came in 1991, when she landed her first triple axel at the U.S. Championships and won the title with the event's first 6.0 ever given to a single female skater for technical merit. At the 1991 World Championships, she again completed the triple axel—becoming the first American woman to perform it at an international event. Harding would finish second behind Kristi Yamaguchi, and in front of Nancy Kerrigan, marking the first time one country swept the ladies medal podium at the World Figure Skating Championships.
In January 1994, Harding became embroiled in controversy when her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, orchestrated an attack on her fellow U.S. skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. Both women competed in the February 1994 Winter Olympics, where Kerrigan won the silver medal and Harding finished eighth.
On March 16, 1994, Harding accepted a plea bargain in which she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution. As a result of her involvement in the assault on Kerrigan, the United States Figure Skating Association banned her for life on June 30, 1994.
In 2014, two television documentaries about Harding's life and skating career (Nancy & Tonya and The Price of Gold) were aired within two months of each other — inspiring Steven Rogers to write the darkly comedic biographical film I, Tonya, released in 2017 and starring Margot Robbie as Harding. In 2018, Harding was a contestant on season 26 of Dancing with the Stars, finishing in third place.
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Tonya Harding is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Tonya Harding for your event is $30,000 - $50,000. Tonya Harding generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Tonya Harding for an upcoming event.
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