Nancy Kerrigan

ESPN yet to convince Nancy Kerrigan to do interview for ‘Tonya and Nancy’ 30 for 30 documentary

Leave a comment

The ESPN documentary “Tonya and Nancy” might very well be missing Nancy.

It was first reported in May by Sports Illustrated that the network would produce a film as part of its 30 for 30 series looking back at the Jan. 6, 1994, incident where Nancy Kerrigan was whacked on the knee as part of a plot led by Tonya Harding‘s ex-husband.

The film then reportedly addresses the following six weeks of non-stop media coverage of the two figure skaters through the Lillehammer Olympics.

Kerrigan recovered to win silver behind Ukraine’s Oksana Baiul in 1994. Harding finished eighth.

Kerrigan, now 43, has largely stayed out of the media spotlight in the last 19 years. It’s no surprise she hasn’t been interviewed, though ESPN continues to try.

“Several people close to her have done interviews,” ESPN Films Vice President Connor Schell told the Television Critics Association summer meeting Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. “We’re still working to get Nancy and hope by November that we do.”

SI reported in May that the previous working title, “The Whack Heard Round The World,” was likely to be changed.

Filmmaker Nanette Burstein has already interviewed Harding, a fact Kerrigan has been made aware of, according to SI.

“[Harding] has such captivating and strong personality and is very outspoken and emotional about these issues and how it hugely affected her life,” Burstein said. “She wanted her story told but she also wanted this to be the last time she did it. She did not want to keep rehashing the story for years to come.”

ESPN continues its 30 for 30 series with another figure skating film, “The Diplomat,” on Aug. 6. The film is about two-time East German Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt amid the backdrop of the lead into the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Some Sochi Olympic champions will receive meteorite medals

Yuzuru Hanyu opens Olympic season with record score

Yuzuru Hanyu
Getty Images
Leave a comment

A sore knee didn’t hold Yuzuru Hanyu back. A record score to open his Olympic season.

The Olympic and world champion from Japan hit a pair of quadruple jumps in his short program at the Autumn Classic, a lower-level event in Montreal.

He was rewarded with 112.72 points, the highest short program score recorded under the 13-year-old judging system. Video is here.

It looked like a home competition for Hanyu.

Upon finishing, he bowed toward one set of bleachers (maybe a dozen rows) at the Sportsplexe Pierrefonds. More than two dozen Japanese flags made it hard to see most of the faces.

He bettered Javier Fernández, a two-time world champion and training partner, by 11.52 points. Fernández also landed two quadruple jumps to tally 101.2.

Full scores will be here upon the conclusion of the short program. The free skate is Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. A live stream is here.

Hanyu now owns the three highest short program scores under the 13-year-old system. The other two were set in the 2015-16 season.

Showdowns like Hanyu-Fernández are usually reserved for, at the earliest, the Grand Prix series in late October and November.

Hanyu and Fernández are very familiar with each other, having shared a coach in Canadian Brian Orser, the 1988 Olympic silver medalist, since 2012. They train in Toronto.

In that time, Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic title (and the second teen from any nation to do it). He followed it up with world titles later in 2014 and this year.

Fernández achieved unfathomable success for a Spanish skater — world titles in 2015 and 2016, overtaking Hanyu in the free skate both times.

In PyeongChang, Hanyu can become the first man to repeat as Olympic champion since Dick Button in 1952. Fernández can become the third Spaniard to earn a Winter Olympic medal of any color in any sport, and the first since 1992.

The figure skating season continues next week with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: What to watch every day of PyeongChang Olympics

USOC letter assures Olympians about South Korea security

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. Olympic Committee’s security chief sent a letter to potential Winter Olympians saying there are no indications that recent developments between the U.S. and North Korea have compromised security in South Korea.

The letter, obtained by The Associated Press shortly after it was sent Friday, makes no suggestion that the U.S. is considering skipping the PyeongChang Winter Games for security reasons.

But Chief Security Officer Nicole Deal does write that provocations that have been volleyed between the United States and North Korea are likely to persist for the foreseeable future, and “should not be dismissed as insignificant nor feared as precursors of an inevitable conflict.”

The letter comes at the end of a week in which France’s sports minister suggested the country’s athletes would stay home if security could not be guaranteed.

The International Olympic Committee, trying to calm concerns, reiterated that in conversations with high-level officials in China and South Korea, none have expressed doubt about the Winter Games proceeding as scheduled, next February.

The USOC also sent out a public statement Friday from CEO Scott Blackmun.

“We will continue to work with our State Department and local organizers to ensure that our athletes, and our entire delegation, are safe,” he said.

The letter, sent to athletes, national governing bodies and other Olympic leaders in the United States, said the USOC’s security division is operating as “business as usual for our security planning and preparations.”

Deal writes that the USOC is reviewing crisis management plans that address a range of potential scenarios “to ensure our athletes, and our entire delegation, are safe.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: What to watch every day of PyeongChang Olympics