Tonya Harding had fought hard to win her place as one of America’s elite skaters – and she was determined she would one day win an Olympic medal.
Always an outsider in the glamorous world of ice-skating, Tonya’s ambition drove her to push herself to be the very best.
Her childhood was marred by a lack of money, with skating Tonya’s release from her life at home.
Tonya’s coach once said she saw skating as “her ticket out of the gutter”.
An unhappy marriage to Jeff Gillooly, who she had met when she was still a teenager, followed but nothing could keep Tonya from her dreams of winning a medal.
In the 1991 World Championships it seemed she was well on her way when she won silver and the following year finished fourth in the Olympics, narrowly missing out on a medal.
The following years saw Tonya’s form dip but by 1994 she was firmly on the comeback trail with only one person standing in her way – Nancy Kerrigan.
Nancy had already won a bronze medal and was the darling of the skating world. She had secured sponsorship deals with Disney and Vera Wong wanted to design her costumes for the rink.
In comparison, Tonya claims she was looked down on for her garish outfits – many of which had been made by her mother to save money – her hairstyles and her accent.
She often swore in interviews with the press and her pop music played during her routines – Tonya was everything the skating world wasn’t.
Despite their rivalry, the two skaters were often roommates while competing, but Tonya harboured a bitter jealousy towards Nancy.
Years later she summed up her attitude towards her in documentary The Price of Gold, saying “she’s a princess and I’m a pile of crap”.
And Nancy’s early life had not been so different from Tonya’s. Her father was a welder and worked several jobs to help push her ice-skating career.
However, while Tonya insists Nancy was always the golden girl while she was the outsider, she did win the respect of the skating world with her awesome displays of power.
Tonya was the first skater in America, and the second woman ever, to achieve a technically difficult triple axle jump.
But then came the attack that would ultimately end Tonya’s career and see her banned from skating for life, which was turned into the film, I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie.
Just over a month before the Winter Olympics were due to start in Norway, Nancy was practising on the ice when she was brutally attacked in an assault that could have left her unable to walk.
She said: “He hit me very hard, just once, then kept running. Fortunately, I guess his aim was bad.
“The doctors said that if the bar had hit me one finger-width lower, my kneecap would have been smashed and I might never have walked again.”
A probe was launched by the FBI and it soon became clear this wasn’t a random assault and, instead, as a planned attack.
The man behind what could have been a career-ending injury was Tonya’s husband, Gillooly, who had hired Shawn Eckardt to orchestrate the assault
However, he had left an obvious trail and his involvement was quickly discovered by the FBI.
Sean Stant was paid £4,000 to carry out the assualt and used his uncle, Derrick Smith, who was also a friend of Gillooly’s, as a getaway driver.
Stant watched as Nancy trained and then, as she walked out of the arena, he struck, hitting her with a baton on her knee. He said he instantly realised she wasn’t seriously hurt as he had not heard a bone snap.
Eckardt has since said agreed to take part so he could create a market for bodyguards for female skaters but was caught after he boasted to a pal about his plans, who told the FBI.
As soon as they were arrested both Gillooly and Eckhart claimed Tonya had known about their violent plan all along, something she has denied.
Instead, Tonya claimed in her autobiography that she had wanted to go to the police, but that she had been threatened with gang rape by her husband if she ever told anyone what he had done.
She said: “I was scared to death. He told me he was going to kill me if I said anything.”
Gillooly, who has now changed his name to Jeff Stone, always insisted Tonya’s allegations of gang rape threats were “utterly ridiculous”.
After he was implicated in the attack on Kerrigan, Gillooly, sold an explicit sex tape of him and his wife to a TV show and stills from it were published in Penthouse in 1994.
But as the media frenzy around her rage, Tonya continued to insist she had no involvement in what had happened to Nancy and concentrated on her skating in preparation for the Olympics, which were just weeks away.
Meanwhile, Nancy was also doing everything she could to ensure she could compete, undergoing intensive therapy to repair her knee and eventually winning a silver medal in Norway.
Tonya had to settle with eighth place while he rival returned to the United States a hero.
A month after the Winter Olympics, Gillooly and his henchmen were sentenced and all served time in prison for the attack.
Tonya’s husband was jailed for two years while Stant had to serve 18 months behind bars.
Eckhardt, was given 18 months for racketeering and legally changed his name to Brian Sean Griffith following his release from jail. He died at age 40 in 2007.
Tonya avoided prosecution by pleading guilty to trying to hinder the prosecution and was given community service of 500 hours and a huge fine.
But for the skater who dreamed of glory a worse punishment was doled out – she was stripped of all championship titles and banned from skating for life.
Following the 1994 Olympics, Nancy retired from amateur competition and focused her career on performing in ice shows and worked as a sports commentator.
She married her agent, Jerry Solomon, and they have three children.
Tonya, who now works as a welder, said: “Everyone made a life and a livelihood except me.”
She dabbled in professional boxing following the attack and now lives back in Oregon with her second husband Joseph, with her son, Gordon.