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Figure skating had always seen its share of controversy, with the judgesâ scores often highly criticized and political maneuvers between national federations known to occur frequently.Often, skaters were placed not by how they skated but by their previous reputation, known as protocol judging.The placement for the the Short Program was factored by 0.5 (33.3%), and the placement for Free Skating was factored by 1.0 (66.7%).The sums of the factored placements were then used to determine final placement, with the Free Skating being the tiebreaker.But Harding lawyered up, threatened a huge lawsuit if that was done, and the USOC capitulated.So in Lillehammer the competition was surrounded by a media frenzy probably not seen before at any Olympic Games.Kerrigan was not wealthy either, but came from a background somewhat similar to [Carol Heiss].
Then the hunt started for the perpetrators of the crime.The group finally settled on attacking Kerrigan at the US Nationals in Detroit. Two days later, Tonya Harding won the US Nationals and qualified for the Olympic team.Shortly before the competition, Kerrigan came off the ice after a training session, when a large man assaulted her with a solid-metal baton, hitting her just above the knee. The US had only two spots for the ladiesâ event in Lillehammer.Among the American women, [Nancy Kerrigan] and [Tonya Harding] had been 1-2 since the retirement of [Kristi Yamaguchi] after the 1992 Winter Olympics.But Kerrigan usually won, her artistry overcoming the athletic jumping ability of Harding, who was only the second woman ever to land a triple axel (after [Midori Ito] (JPN)).Harding also did not fit into the world of figure skating.She did not come from a wealthy family, and was definitely from the other side of the tracks.Gillooly did not know that Eckardt, Smith, and Stant tape recorded the conversation where the plan was hatched.The hit was supposed to take place on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Kerrigan trained, but Stant was such an idiot that he could not find the ice rink, although it was known to virtually everybody.Thus, if a skater was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall for that section.Ties were broken by a Subsequent Majority rule, i.e., if the skaters were ranked for the same position by the same number of judges, Majority Placement for the next higher position for each skater determined who was ranked higher.