Harding Heads for Norway Amid Legal Turmoil With PM-Olympics-Pairs Injury
Feb. 16, 1994
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Leaving her legal troubles behind, Tonya Harding headed for Norway today to share the same ice, live in the same quarters and chase the same Olympic medals as Nancy Kerrigan.
''Keep believing in me and I'm going to go there and I'm going to win,'' she told hundreds of hometown fans, reporters and others after arriving at Portland International Airport in a white stretch limousine Tuesday.
From there, the skater boarded a small plane to Seattle, where she took off for Oslo and the Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
In Seattle, shortly before Harding left, a fuel truck drove by the concourse windows and someone held out a sign reading ''Go Tonya.'' The truck then turned around and a sign held out the other side read ''Go Nancy.''
Win or lose, when she comes back she will face a grand jury investigation into the Jan. 6 clubbing attack on Kerrigan and a U.S. Figure Skating Association hearing that could get her banished from major competitions.
KATU-TV in Portland reported Tuesday night that Harding has taken three polygraph tests and failed two of them.
Citing unidentified sources, KATU said she ''failed miserably'' one test that asked if she knew about the attack prior to Jan. 10, when she returned to Portland from the U.S. championships, and if she participated in any part of the attack. Harding replied ''no'' to those questions, the station said.
Harding refused to comment on the polygraph exams. Such test results are not admissible in court in Oregon.
In New York, meanwhile, Harding's mother collapsed on the set of ''The Montel Williams Show.'' St. Clare's Hospital said LaVona ''Sandy'' Golden was admitted for observation and was in stable condition.
Golden fainted after taping the syndicated talk show, said Jennifer Geisser, publicist for the show. During the show, scheduled to be shown Friday, Golden ''broke down in tears as she talked freely about her relationship with Tonya,'' Geisser said.
Harding's travel plans took shape Saturday when the USOC called off a disciplinary hearing that could have gotten her thrown off the team. As part of the agreement, Harding dropped her $25 million lawsuit against the USOC.
The trip also came as ''A Current Affair'' aired a videotape in which Harding removes the top of her dress at a Halloween party. The show would not say how it got the tape.
The New York Post said her ex-husband and chief accuser, Jeff Gillooly, supplied the video for an undisclosed amount of money.