The infamous Tonya Harding was an Olympic talent in figure skating in the early 1990s, but did you know she’s also talented with the bow and arrow?
Tonya Harding will forever be associated with Nancy Kerrigan’s painful cries of “Why? Why?” after she was attacked in January 1994 six weeks before the Olympics. But what else do we know about Tonya? The award-winning biopic “I, Tonya” delves into Harding’s life to offer a different perspective on the police-baton assault by an assailant hired by her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly.
In a recent New York Times article, the former Olympian – who is remarried and prefers to be called “Tonya Price” – said she has some serious archery skills. The Times article explores her life, which includes bowhunting. The article said she and her husband often hunt together, just as she once did with her father.
Her husband, however, hunts with a muzzleloading rifle. She said she prefers bowhunting because she wants “to give the animal a 50-50 chance, to make it interesting and fair.” The article notes that she might not have another choice. Felons aren’t allowed to possess guns in Washington state.
How good is she at archery? Price told the Times’ reporter she has shot no fewer than eight “Robin Hoods,” which means shooting an arrow that splits another arrow already in a bull’s-eye. She said she made those shots at 30 yards.
That goes to show that archery can be enjoyed by all, including former world-class figure skaters. Besides touting her archery skills in the Times article, Price claims those talents don’t compare to her fishing skills, but she didn’t want to elaborate. Why? Because some people think eating carrots involves killing, she said.
The “I, Tonya” biopic has reignited interest in Price’s decades-old icy feud with Kerrigan, and the details of a disgraced skater’s life. But years after the scandal, Price is trying to cultivate a normal, healthy lifestyle with her husband, which includes bowhunting and fishing. That isn’t surprising, given how sports can focus a person’s energy into constructive recreation. In Price’s case, drawing a bow and arrow might be as therapeutic as strapping on skates and competing on ice.
If the Tonya Harding story and her newfound skills make you want to test your archery skills, visit your local archery shop. Maybe you can hit eight Robin Hoods, too.