Seldom Seen Footage Shows Nancy Kerrigan Just Before Notorious Attack, Desperate Hunt for Her Assailant

Playing Never-Before-Seen Footage of Tonya Harding From the Day Nancy Kerrigan Got Hurt

It was the scream heard 'round the world as Nancy Kerrigan let out an agonizing cry after she was clubbed in the leg in an infamous 1994 assault, but much of the infamous video, including the seconds leading up to the attack, has rarely been seen.

In the footage shot on Jan. 6, 1994, Kerrigan is seen warming up at an ice rink in Detroit, blissfully unaware of the grim fate that was just a few moments away. 

Her rival Tonya Harding was also in the Motor City, competing against Kerrigan in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The camera was rolling as Kerrigan wrapped up her routine and left the ice, walking through a curtain unaware that her life was about to change forever. 

Cameraman Gene Samuels, who shot the historic footage, recalled the "blood-curdling scream" he heard.

He ran up to Kerrigan just seconds after the mysterious attack and found her on the floor in agony.

“These things happen in front of you," he told Inside Edition. "It's almost like surreal." 

In the footage, Kerrigan is writhing in pain and can be heard screaming, "Help me! Take off my skate! Please take off my skate!"

Then came the heartbreaking cry of “Why! Why!" 

Kerrigan also described the attacker's weapon: "Some hard, hard black stick. Something really hard."

As Kerrigan was carried to the changing rooms by her dad, a manhunt was launched for the attacker.

“All of a sudden somebody yelled out, ‘He's outside!’ So we went tearing out through the door,” Samuels recalled. 

Security staff at the ice rink scoured the area in a desperate bid to find the attacker before he could slip away.

Back inside, officers arrived at the scene and as they do, a young woman comes forward to help them identify the attacker.

The attack was orchestrated by Tonya Harding's then-husband Jeff Gillooly, who hired a goon to knock Kerrigan out of commission and guarantee his wife’s place at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. 

Harding has always denied any involvement in the attack. The acclaimed new film I,Tonya offers a sympathetic account of her life.

This week, Harding made headlines with an ABC News interview in which she reveals she heard her ex-husband plotting an attack on her rival. 

Harding maintains that she never agreed to or knew about Gillooly’s plan to go after Kerrigan, but she says “I did, however, overhear them talking about stuff, where, ‘Well maybe we should take somebody out so we can make sure she gets on the team.’ And I remember telling them... ‘What the hell are you talking about?’”

“This was, like, a month or two months before [the attack],” she added. “But they were talking about skating and saying, ‘Well, maybe somebody should be taken out so then, you know, she can make it.’”

Harding's ex-husband and her bodyguard both pleaded guilty to involvement in the attack and were sentenced to prison time. The attacker and the getaway driver also did time after admitting their roles in the assault.

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