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Nancy Kerrigan's 'Dancing with the Stars' debut draws "break a leg" tweet from Kristi Yamaguchi


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/23/2017 

Nancy Kerrigan's friendship with fellow figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is being questioned after Yamaguchi wished her luck before her Dancing with the Stars debut with an arguably distasteful choice of words.

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"So excited for you @NancyAKerrigan ! Can't wait to see you grace that ballroom floor, break a leg! #DWTS," Yamaguchi, 45, tweeted on March 20.

The post, although seemingly friendly and harmless, still sparked gossip and hype on social media that Yamaguchi -- who won Dancing with the Stars' sixth season in 2008 -- was allegedly throwing shade at Kerrigan since leg injuries are a sore subject for the Season 24 DWTS contestant.

Many Twitter users were quick to criticize the awkward phrasing of Yamaguchi's "break a leg" tweet since it reminded them of Kerrigan's infamous scandal with Tonya Harding that left the 47-year-old aspiring ballroom dancer crying, "Why me? Why now?"

In 1994, Kerrigan had to overcome a knee injury on her journey to the Winter Olympics when she was attacked with a police baton by assailant Shane Stant, who had been hired by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of skating rival Harding.

Though the attacker didn't break Kerrigan's leg, he came inches away from shattering the Olympian's kneecap.

Kerrigan was forced to withdraw from the U.S. Championships for rehabilitation purposes, but her USA teammates agreed one of the two spots on their Olympic team belonged to her. Kerrigan then went on to win a silver medal at the 1994 games.

The figure-skating scandal is memorable to this day, as it made national headlines at the time and had the whole world talking.

Harding was ultimately banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association, while Stant, Gillooly, Harding's bodyguard Shawn Eckardt, and Stant's uncle Derrick Smith all served prison time for their roles in the attack, Us Weekly reported.

Kerrigan is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars with her professional partner Artem Chigvintsev.

On the Season 24 premiere, Kerrigan and Chigvintsev tied for third place on Monday night's leaderboard with two other couples after they received 28 out of 40 possible points from Dancing with the Stars judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli.

Kerrigan proved figure skating is much different from ballroom dancing, however, she impressed with her Viennese waltz.


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