30 for 30: Season 2, Episode 16

The Price of Gold (16 Jan. 2014)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | Sport
7.3
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The world couldn't keep its eyes off two athletes at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer - Nancy Kerrigan, the elegant brunette and Tonya Harding, the feisty blonde engulfed in scandal. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Connie Chung ...
Herself - CBS News Anchor
Tonya Harding ...
Herself
...
Herself (archive footage)
...
Himself - Founder - International Figure Skating Magazine
John Powers ...
Himself - Boston Globe Reporter
Dody Teachman ...
Herself - Harding's Coach - 1991
Paul Wylie ...
Himself - 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist
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The world couldn't keep its eyes off two athletes at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer - Nancy Kerrigan, the elegant brunette and Tonya Harding, the feisty blonde engulfed in scandal. Just weeks before the Olympics on January 6, 1994 at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Kerrigan was stunningly clubbed on the right knee by an unknown assailant and left wailing, "Why, why, why?" As the bizarre "why" mystery unraveled, it was revealed that Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, had plotted the attack with his misfit friends to literally eliminate Kerrigan from the competition. Now two decades later, The Price of Gold takes a fresh look at the worldwide spectacle that elevated the popularity of professional figure skating and has Harding still facing questions over what she knew when she knew it. Written by ESPN Films

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16 January 2014 (USA)  »

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References Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story (1994) See more »

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Skating on thin ice
4 March 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Fascinating retrospective documentary on the infamous attack on US figure-skater Nancy Kerrigan in the run-up to the 1992 Olympics, allegedly planned by rival skater Tonya Harding and her entourage. In the end, Harding pleaded guilty to knowledge after the fact, not beforehand, which act effectively kept her out of prison but also finish her ice-skating career at age 24 and become remembered ever since as the trailer-trash tomboy who would do anything to improve her gold medal chances.

Of course the premise is easily set up as the statuesque, clean-living Kerrigan is contrasted with the mousy, street-hardened Harding, although in truth they weren't that far apart in social class. Using loads of archive footage, the film skilfully builds up to the Olympic finale, where Harding singly under-performed but ironically Kerrigan was surprisingly pipped to the gold herself.

It's a shame of course that Kerrigan chose not to participate in this film, after all, she was the victim, all the stranger when her husband and manager does in her place, but I suppose that left more time for Harding to fill the space, trying ever harder as it goes on to vindicate herself, even after a so-called childhood-friend comes down off the fence near the end to find her guilty too.

The film doesn't make the final judgement on Tonya Harding, leaving it to the viewer in the end to make up their own mind. Personally I find it hard to believe that Harding herself was behind such a hare-brained plot and probably got sucked in by her user-loser husband and his crowd, but sometimes she overplays her hand, especially when she tries to portray herself as the victim and significantly makes no modern-day apology to Kerrigan for what happened to her.

Sport truly is stranger than fiction I guess, the irony for both is that their own names will forever be linked together over the sabotage-plot that went wrong, with Harding in particular sharing the damning infamy of the likes of Ben Johnson, Mike Tyson and Hansie Cronje. Whether she deserves this vilification is for the viewer to decide, a task this well- balanced documentary makes more difficult than you'd imagine,


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