Tonya Harding – Statement on the Attack on Nancy Kerrigan
I would like to begin by saying how sorry I am about what happened to Nancy Kerrigan. I am embarrassed and ashamed to think that anyone close to me could be involved.
I was disappointed not to have the opportunity to compete against Nancy at nationals. I have a great deal of respect for Nancy. My victory at nationals was unfulfilling without the challenge of skating against Nancy.
I had no prior knowledge of the planned assault on Nancy Kerrigan. I am responsible, however, for failing to report things I learned about the assault when I returned home from nationals.
Many of you will be unable to forgive me for that. It will be difficult to forgive myself.
When I returned home Monday, January 10th, 1994, I was exhausted but still focused on the national championships. Within the next few days, I learned that some persons that were close to me may have been involved in the assault. My first reaction was one of disbelief, and the disbelief was followed by shock and fear. I have since reported this information to the authorities.
Although my lawyers tell me that my failure to immediately report this information is not a crime, I know I have let you down, but I have also let myself down.
But I still want to represent my country in Lillehammer, Norway, next month. Despite my mistakes and my rough edges, I have nothing -- I have done nothing to violate the standards of excellence, of sportsmanship that are expected in an Olympic athlete.
Nancy Kerrigan and I can show the world two different types of figure skating.
I look forward to being on the team with her. I have devoted my entire life to one objective: winning an Olympic gold medal for my country. This is my last chance. I ask only for your understanding and the opportunity to represent my country with the best figure skating performance of my life.
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