Biography of Tonya Harding
Tonya Maxene Harding (born November 12, 1970) is an American figure skating champion, a two-time Olympian, and a two-time Skate America Champion. In 1991 she won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and placed second in the World Championships. She was the second woman, and the first American woman, to complete a triple axel jump in competition. She became notorious after her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, conspired with Shawn Eckhardt and Shane Stant to physically assault her skating competitor Nancy Kerrigan at a practice session during the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Harding was born in Portland, Oregon, the daughter of LaVona and Al Harding. She had a half-brother, Chris Davison (deceased). Her father had health problems that sometimes left him unable to work. She claims that her mother sexually abused her, a claim her mother denies. She began skating at age three. She landed her first triple lutz at age 12. Her mother made many of her skating costumes.
She stopped attending high school during her sophomore year and later earned a GED as she started receiving invitations to international skating competitions while she was still in junior high school.
Harding married Jeff Gillooly in early 1990, when she was 19 years old. Their tumultuous marriage ended in divorce in 1993. She divorced her second husband Michael Smith in 1995. She married 42-year-old Joseph Jens Price on June 23, 2010. On February 11, 2011, it was announced that she was pregnant with her first child. Harding gave birth to a son on February 19, 2011.