Nancy Kerrigan Interview: 1994 Attack, Father's Death Retraced

Image: Nancy Kerrigan Interview: 1994 Attack, Father's Death Retraced

Monday, 26 Aug 2013 10:00 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Nancy Kerrigan, the former Olympic American figure skater, opened up during an interview with NBC's TODAY Show on Friday and discussed her life nearly 20 years after she was attacked by a man that the ex-husband of skating rival Tanya Harding hired.

Now a mother of three, the Woburn, Mass.-born Kerrigan discussed the death of her father and incarceration of her brother with TODAY'S Matt Lauer.

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Kerrigan's brother Mark was convicted of assault and battery in connection with the death of her 70-year-old father Daniel, who died shortly after an altercation with Mark in January 2010, TODAY reported.

The following June, Mark Kerrigan was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

"He shouldn’t have been charged. My dad had a heart attack and that’s that," Kerrigan told Lauer.

According to the athlete, a two-time medalist who won Silver in 1994 and Bronze in 1992, her father died as a result of a pre-existing heart condition, not from the altercation with her brother.

Massachusetts' Middlesex County district attorney did not agree, however, and charged him with involuntary manslaughter. Kerrigan's brother was acquitted of the manslaughter charge by a jury in 2011.

Mark Kerrigan was released in 2012 after serving the maximum sentence for the assault and battery charge and is presently working a steady job, according to Kerrigan.

"Since then, we did the same thing we’ve always done — take things one thing at a time, and you get through it," Kerrigan said. "Life’s challenging and hard, and we stick together and move on."

"He’s just getting on with his life," Kerrigan added. "I’m sure not easy when it’s brought up like this because unfortunately being my (brother) it’s brought up again, which is really too bad for him because he wants to move on with his life."

In the interview, Kerrigan also addressed the attack she suffered in 1994 at the hands of Shane Stant.

Stant clubbed Kerrigan in her right knee immediately after she exited the ice at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. He was hired by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of Tanya Harding – a fellow U.S. figure skater and rival of Kerrigan's.

In the video, featured below, which was filmed moments after the assault, Kerrigan painfully screams through her tears "Why! Why!"

"Watching anything sort of horrific, it’s disturbing to see anybody in pain," Kerrigan told TODAY in regards to the video. "To think it’s me. . . It’s a lifetime ago. It hurts to see anybody in such pain. It’s a long time ago. I just moved on."

Just seven weeks after the attack, Kerrigan went on to win Silver at the Lillehammer Games, falling short of the Gold by a narrow margin to Ukrainian skater Oksana Baiul.

"I only got second place by .1 or something so I think a lot of people really thought I should’ve won, so 20 years later you just think, ‘Oh she must’ve won,'" Kerrigan told Lauer. "I was just happy with the performance and to even be able to go and compete again after being attacked. It was such a thrill to be part of an Olympic team again and to be able to represent our country."

As for what she does now in her life, Kerrigan told TODAY "I drive and cook and clean. That’s basically what I do now."

In addition to raising her three kids, Matthew, 16; Brian, 8; and Nicole, 5, Kerrigan still skates in events organized by her husband and manager, Jerry Solomon.

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