Figure skater Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics, where she helped the US team win a bronze medal. Now she’s campaigning for a spot on “Dancing with the Stars,” which is airing a special all-athletes season later this spring. But maybe she should be joined by the first American woman to land a triple axel in any competition: Tonya Harding. Of course, Harding had a much more controversial career on the ice, but “DWTS” has never shied away from controversial contestants, and with Harding’s return to notoriety this year thanks to the Oscar nominated biopic “I, Tonya,” she’s exactly the kind of contestant the dancing competition would court (there have already been rumors swirling). Do you think they should? Scroll down to vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.
It’s relatively common for figure skaters to compete on “DWTS,” and it’s common for them to do well given their athleticism and experience with choreography. Harding’s skating contemporary Kristi Yamaguchi won season 6 (2008), and then Meryl Davis won season 18 six years later (2014); Davis’s skating partner Charlie White also competed that season but had a disappointing fifth-place finish. Evan Lysacek just missed the top spot in season 10 (2010), edged out for the Mirror Ball Trophy by singer Nicole Scherzinger.
Most recently Nancy Kerrigan traded in her skates for dancing shoes, but she had difficulty shaking her self-doubt, and she wound up in sixth place. Kerrigan’s skating career is inextricably linked with Harding’s because of the infamous 1994 assault against Kerrigan committed by attackers associated with Harding. But as dramatized in “I, Tonya” there remains controversy over how much Harding knew about the attack and when she knew it. Does she deserve to be redeemed on a public platform like “DWTS”? It would complete the trifecta as Harding, Kerrigan and Yamaguchi were the three medalists at the US Figure Skating Championships in both 1991 and 1992. Vote below to let us know what you think.