The world’s most scandalous ice-skating rivalry, the one between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, has inspired two New Yorkers to open a museum in their home (see The World’s 19 Creepiest Museums).
Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins, who live in a Williamsburg apartment with a particularly long, underused hallway, came up with the idea as a joke. “If we don’t make the hallway into the Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum we feel like it will be wasted space,” the duo wrote on Kickstarter.
That tongue-in-cheek campaign, however, proved surprisingly fruitful, pulling in over $1,000—the initial goal was a paltry $75. Its success demonstrates that the world has not forgotten the brutal attack that left Kerrigan, the defending national champion, unable to compete for a spot on the US Olympic team or for the 1994 title, which Harding won.
Kerrigan’s attacker was a friend of Harding’s ex-husband (they still lived together), but Harding denied any involvement with the crime. While Kerrigan ultimately captured the silver medal that year, Harding finished a disappointing eighth, and later pleaded guilty to hindering an investigation. US Figure Skating stripped Harding of the championship, and she later took up celebrity boxing.
Now, the museum is on the way to becoming a reality—which seems only appropriate considering that this is the city that brought us not only MoMA and the Met but also the Troll Museum (see Help Save New York’s Troll Museum).
“We want to focus on the cultural reaction and the media,” Olen told the Brooklyn Paper. “It is a story that people really connect to.”
The main plan seems to be hanging giant prints of Kerrigan and Harding together, although the Kickstarter description allows for the possibility of “people’s crafting projects, wax figures, historical reenactments and other Tonya and Nancy related creations.” They’ve already received screenplays, comic books, and other fan-penned materials about the skaters, as well as ephemera from that fateful National Championship.
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