Nancy Kerrigan Releases a Statement
It's the first image of ice skating icon Nancy Kerrigan facing heartache head on, arriving at her childhood home where her beloved father was found dead and her brother was arrested for allegedly attacking him in a drunken rage.
The two-time Olympic medalist released a statement, calling her father Daniel "a caring and loving father" and "a wonderful husband."
But she made no mention of her brother Mark, a plumber with a long criminal record, who remains behind bars after pleading not guilty to assault charges. "The family's focus is on mourning Dan and honoring his life and many contributions," Kerrigan writes.
Kerrigan is receiving sympathy from a surprising source: her skating nemesis Tonya Harding, who released a statement saying she "feels very sad for Nancy and her family." Her spokeswoman added, "Tonya's beloved dad, Al Harding, passed away this past April, so she understands the grief Nancy and her family are feeling at this difficult time."
Kerrigan's close bond with her father was evident after that now-infamous 1994 attack when she was viciously clubbed in the knee, a plot masterminded by Harding's then husband. It was her father Dan who carried his distraught daughter out of the arena.
Kerrigan has always been portrayed as the spoiled princess to Harding's hard-scrabble blue collar image, but it turns out she also came from modest means. Her father, a welder, worked three jobs so Nancy could pursue her skating dreams— even driving a Zamboni ice cleaning machine at a local rink in exchange for free skating lessons for Nancy.
"She's been through so much, I definitely want to express support and condolences," said Kerrigan's close friend and Olympic teammate Kristi Yamaguchi, talking about the father-daughter bond on the Today show. "Nancy's father Dan was always right there beside her, one of her biggest supporters. He was definitely behind her, so proud of everything Nancy had accomplished."
Daniel Kerrigan's actual cause of death is still unknown pending autopsy results.