I saw the movie I, Tonya last week with my wife. It seems others agree that this movie about figure skater Tonya Harding was entertaining and well done. The Harding/Kerrigan drama was reality TV before reality TV was a thing. Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were skating rivals training for the 1994 Olympics when an assailant, hired by Harding’s husband, struck Kerrigan in the knee with a baton badly bruising her. The movie, however, was less about the incident or figure skating, and more a story about class. Tonya Harding was an athletic prodigy who happened to choose a sport that was more about tradition and presentation than athleticism and Harding did not fit the image. Tonya Harding was born to a single mother in Portland, Oregon and had a rough early life, claiming she was subject to verbal and physical abuse for years – first by her mother and then by her first husband, Jeff Gillooly. She skated with unprecedented skill but wore handmade outfits and never quite looked the part. In a sport where scoring is based on the subjective whims of a panel of judges, Harding never felt she got a fair shake. The movie is shot as a mock documentary and has been nominated for three Academy Awards. Some people have been critical of the film and say it is absurdly sympathetic to Harding, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for the attack on Kerrigan and was banned from competitive skating. I recently read that Harding was paid a mere $1,400 for the rights to her story. If that is true, I guess her luck has not improved much. I thought the movie was entertaining and thought-provoking. It’s definitely worth a look.
Author: Gary Acosta
Gary Acosta is an entrepreneur, public policy advocate, investor, and thought leader passionate about advancing prosperity for Latinos and other underserved communities.