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23 Jul, 2020 16:22

'Tonya Harding scandal was a one-off': Evgenia Medvedeva says figure skaters don’t put glass in rivals’ skates

'Tonya Harding scandal was a one-off': Evgenia Medvedeva says figure skaters don’t put glass in rivals’ skates

Russian figure skating star Evgenia Medvedeva says modern skaters don’t indulge in drama away from the ice, explaining that the famous Tonya Harding scandal was a lone violation of the sport’s usual friendly atmosphere.

The two-time world champion noted that figure skating rivals treat each other with the utmost respect, and their fierce competition exists only on the ice, not outside of it.

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The Olympic silver medalist dismissed rumors of a supposedly toxic environment in figure skating, which emerged after the film ‘I, Tonya’ was released.

Yes, I watched this movie. It was based on real events,” Medvedeva said.

I was asked several times, ‘Do figure skaters really put glass into rivals’ skates? Do they cut competitors’ outfits, or hire criminals to injure other skaters?’ The Tonya Harding scandal was the one and only time such things took place.”

In reality, figure skaters respect each other. Maybe sometimes it looks a bit theatrical, but we do respect each other. We are always grateful for the work that has been done. If you are on top of the podium, hug your opponent. If you lost, go and work harder,” she added.

Former American figure skater Harding was implicated in one of the biggest scandals ever to hit US sports.

In 1994, her teammate and main rival Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by a man who struck her leg with a telescopic baton prior to the national selection.

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An investigation revealed that the attacker had been hired by Harding's ex-husband. The skater denied any wrongdoing, insisting she was not involved in the assault.

She received three years' probation by pleading guilty to hindering the prosecution of the attackers, and she was also forced to resign from the United States Figure Skating Association.