just skating by

The story of Tonya Harding and her possible involvement in the January 1994 attack on fellow ice skater Nancy Kerrigan has come back to the surface in light of the movie I, Tonya and all of its award nominations. I was an ice skating fan in 1994, so I remember the broad details of the attack and its aftermath. But the details have gotten fuzzy. 

So I was excited to find that I had won a copy of On Thin Ice: The Complete, Uncensored Story of Tonya Harding by Frank Coffey and Joe Layden in a Goodreads giveaway (side note: enter those giveaways, people! You can win!). 

On Thin Ice takes you back to when the 1990s, when hair was big and Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan owned the ice. They were both driven young women from less privileged backgrounds than most skaters. But where Nancy had the willowy beauty and natural grace of the typical figure skater, Tonya was decidedly less refined and more independent. In other words, Nancy fit the mold and Tonya smashed it into pieces. 

Taken from articles and interviews from then and now, On Thin Ice tells the story of how Tonya Harding became an ice skater as a child, what her life was like while she was growing up, her competitions, her relationships, the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, and how she was implicated in the crime (even though she denied any involvement and was never prosecuted).

The book is a quick read and well-researched if you are wanting a glimpse into the situation, something longer than an article but not as time-consuming as a 300-page book about it. It's basically the print equivalent of a documentary. My biggest problem with the book is the subtitle. Any book of this length cannot be "complete" and "uncensored." I'm sure there's a lot more to the story than what I read here. But that being said, I really liked what I read. It was exactly what I wanted, concise but informative. I would recommend it to anyone who wanted more information on the attack and on Tonya Harding. It's a really good companion to I, Tonya or as a stand-alone to get a feel for the time and the climate of competitive women's ice skating in the early 1990s.