I’ve mentioned before that my memory is pretty pathetic, which makes the Remember the Time blog hop even more fun for me because it forces me to enter the recesses of my mind and pull out some trinkets I’d otherwise forgotten about.
The first major events that crossed my mind were these two:
I was a senior in high school when 9/11 happened. I couldn’t tell you which class it was or who I was sitting by but every TV in the school was on and we all watched with rapt focus. It was a chilling, scary, and bizarre day that I’ll never forget.
I was driving in a car listening to Michael Jackson song after Michael Jackson song during a long commute. I immediately thought the worst and sure enough, the radio host confirmed that Michael Jackson had died that day. A legend was gone.
In an effort to avoid going too deep with today’s post I’ve decided to discuss the fist major nationwide scandal I can remember. Figure skaters Tanya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan and the case of the bum knee.
The year was 1994. I was a quiet, book-reading, figure-skate watching ten-year-old. Nancy Kerrigan was leaving the ice rink after a routine practice when a man holding a blunt object hit her right knee before running off. The aftermath was caught on film and the cries of Nancy’s, “why, why, why,” rang in everyone’s ears, including mine.
Nancy was too injured to compete at the U.S. Championships due to the incident which left room for her biggest competition, Tonya Harding, to win. It turned out that Tonya’s ex-husband and bodyguard were behind the assault and Harding later “plead guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.”
But I didn’t know any of this legal mumbo jumbo at the time, in fact I barely knew what was going on at all because I surely didn’t grow up watching the evening news with my parents so any information I had was second-hand. In my eyes the blonde figure-skater was in big trouble for hurting the brunette figure-skater. I remember feeling sorry for them both and thinking how crazy it was that two women were involved in such a popular news story. (Crazy, huh?) I was really shocked that everyone was so angry at this young, innocent looking girl. I was totally naive to most of the horrors in life at that age and couldn’t understand why anyone would “sabotage” another person.
I also remember lots of crying.
Eventually I grew really angry with Tonya and protective of Nancy. I loved watching ice skaters, they were so graceful in a way I never was, and I remember thinking it was very sad how Nancy had to take a break from skating when it was her life-long dream. Within a year’s time I fell in love with the theatre and discovered what it’s like to have a passion for something that you can’t live without. Looking back, I feel even more empathetic to Nancy’s emotional reaction after her leg was hit. How devastating.
I will always look fondly on this scandal as the first one I really cared about. Aww! I kid, I mean, this isn’t something one should make light of, it’s a serious part of our nation’s history.
Do YOU remember how you felt when this figure-skating whack-job happened? For folks in the UK, did anyone care about this at all across the pond?