The attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships set the stage for a Winter Olympics spectacle: Tonya versus Nancy. Women on Ice collects the writings of a diverse group of feminists who address and question our national obsession with Tonya and Nancy and what this tells us about perceptions of women in twentieth century America. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (4)
The ugly side of figure skating!
Until 1994, I was an avid figure skating fan. Then this whole debacle regarding Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan began. It didn't begin there. In 1992, the press particularly the american press fawned over Nancy Kerrigan like the next Dorothy Hamill. Even though, it was Kristi Yamaguchi who won the Olympic Gold Medal. Nancy and her blind mother received far more attention than Kristi and her win. Sad but true, the press treated Nancy like a princess because she was prettier than Tonya and Kristi at least to the opinion. It was no wonder that Tonya who skated and landed a triple axel something neither Kristi nor Nancy ever completed in competition was left in the dust. Then when Nancy's legally blind mother said her daughter deserved the gold in 1994, nobody pointed out that she was legally blind in the press. The 1994 Winter games also showed an ugly side to the beauty of figure skating. I saw something that I never saw before. I always thought that the figure skaters were like one big happy family but watching figure skaters like Kurt Browning, Scott Hamilton, and Peter Carruthers show their true side lost me completely to the sport. It tarnished my image. I have to say that forgiveness is not in figure skating. Thanks to Tonya's actions, all of those figure skaters became wealthy and treated her like a leper. In HOllywood, they would have easily forgiven her. I did and I still feel sorry for Tonya because Nancy has gotten everything because of her. Tonya's actions are forgiveable and I wish people would see that Tonya was herself a victim of spousal abuse. I wish Tonya best. I'm sad that figure skating has an ugly side of competition but the figure skaters could have shown some forgiveness. They tarnished their sport by being ugly human beings rather than forgiving ones.
Unlike Kerrigan or Yamaguchi, Tonya had no emotional support. Her relationship with her mother was estranged and there were accusations of child abuse which probably ring true to the person that Tonya turned out to be as an adult. She was in an abusive marriage to Jeff Gillooly who only saw dollar signs if his wife won the Olympic Gold Medal. Tonya's support system was lacking. She came out of poor working class Oregon. She had talent that she should have been a blessing instead of a curse. Her skating was the one asset that could have gotten her a better life. She made poor decisions but that doesn't excuse her but you have to understand why it happened. Of course, the Kerrigan camp could have simply called a truce and made peace before the Olympics instead they capitalized well on Kerrigan's situation as the victim. If I was in Kerrigan's shoes, I would have called a truce or cease fire rather than go to courts and allow it to go any further than ruin or tarnish the sport itself. For example, Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist, is still allowed to box while Tonya is forbidden to skate. There was a lot more ugliness in the sport that surfaced during this time. It's been 14 years and it's time to let this go.
Comprehensive scholarly essays of superb social analysis
This book is a collection of over a dozen essays from disparate authors (mostly women) on the Harding/Kerrigan debacle of the Winter '93-'94.Its emphasis is on the Social Analysis of what may often be referenced as apreeminent U.S. feminist issue and exercise to determine the "why ithappened".As such, this book shines with countless thought provokingaspects that have references back to classic mythology and all the stuff ofa consuming dissection.It blows this big media event apart discussingevery aspect from dress colors, selected music scores to the classstandings of these two women Olympians.If you just want a superficialbook on skating, this may not be the book for you.But if you want todeconstruct the how's and why's of what makes the perverse part of humannature and society tick, with the skating included, this collection can'tbe beat.
well-intentioned but off the mark
It would've been nice to read a book like this written by people who understand the sport of figure skating, rather than just an analysis of the media coverage. This was a great opportunity to examine the grit behind theglamor of the sport, and it was wasted.
A powerful dissection of class and gender roles in skating.
this collection of scholarly essays examines skating as a field byfocusing on the events leading up to the 1994 Winter Olympics.The essaysare thought-provoking, and cover a wide range of topics -- from the role ofthe media in creating a spectacle of women's bodies, to an essay on theprominent role of fairy tales and fantsy in skating.Highly recommendedfor skating fans and those interested in sports culture.
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