Figure Skater Nancy Kerrigan's Exciting Future

by Noor Al-Sibai

After more than 20 years since her rise and fall as a figure skater, where is Nancy Kerrigan now in 2016? The famed figure skater likely wouldn't ring a bell in the minds of many millennials, which doesn't come as a shock given that figure skating viewership has fallen swiftly in recent years. But, surprisingly, Kerrigan's name has popped up in various pop culture opportunities and she's made some public performances over the past year.

Kerrigan's career (and downfall) reads like something out of a Hollywood drama: The superstar figure skater was at the top of her game in the early '90s when she was physically attacked by Shane Stant, a henchman allegedly sent by rival Tonya Harding's ex-husband, which instigated a slow fall from grace for both Kerrigan and Harding.

The enmity between the two was famous, and was clearly was palpable in the image below, with Kerrigan (left) and Harding avoiding each other while training for the 1994 Olympics. But there are various ways to view the Harding-Kerrigan feud, which quickly became one of the most famous girl fights of the '90s: either that Harding, as Kerrigan's rival, was jealous of Kerrigan's beauty and success, or that Kerrigan was playing the victim in an overblown drama. Neither viewpoint truly gets at the full story: that two young women were under immense professional and media pressure, and both reacted in very individual, human ways.

Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

While the scandal had devastating effects for Harding's career, the figure skating industry boomed with non-Olympic events in demand throughout the rest of the '90s. It was after that boom and the subsequent crash that Kerrigan said the industry should have organized a pro circuit to capitalize on the public interest. American interest in figure skating has declined so poorly that in 2014's Sochi Games, name recognition for the American Olympians was almost nonexistent.

Despite the mercurial interests of the American public, Kerrigan persevered; her two-time Olympic medalist status made her a fixture in conversations surrounding figure skating. Specifically, Kerrigan was a Winter Olympics correspondent in 2010 and 2014.

Additionally, Kerrigan made a career out of performing in ice shows, including "Halloween on Ice," a show that's been running for two decades. In early May, Kerrigan announced another major benchmark: an impressive position as the executive producer behind a documentary on eating disorders in sports.

The past year has seen pop culture references large and small for Kerrigan, from female rapper Lil Freckles sampling audio from Kerrigan's attack to a recently-announced play about Kerrigan and Harding hitting the Chicago stage in fall 2016. With such a public and vibrant career whose influence stood the test of time, it's clear to see why millennials should be interested in this fascinating public figure, even 20 years after her professional fame.