Tonya Harding made history when she became the first American woman to land two triple-axel jumps in the same competition during Skate America in 1991. The challenging figure-skating jump, which is actually three and a half rotations, was recently a hot topic of conversation again in Pyeongchang, South Korea, when Team USA skater Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to ever land the jump during an Olympic competition.
While the jumps, spins, and footwork are still similar to when Tonya competed, the 47-year-old former Olympian shared why she's "so glad" she's not skating in the games this year, during a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. And if you were wondering: yes, she has been watching the Olympics.
"Wow, I'm so glad I'm not competing against them now," Tonya told Ellen when asked her thoughts on the 2018 Team USA figure skaters, adding that the "points system" has changed. "I was always about doing the triple axel or the triple-triple. Nowadays you can do the triple-triple and still get the same points as you can for the triple axel. So why do the triple axel?"
Tonya reflected on the insane emotions she felt when she landed the historic move, and while she competed for herself, she "performed for the people."
As spectators, we're in awe over some of the amazing routines like 15-year-old skater Alina Zagitova setting the world record for highest score in a short program and Nathan Chen landing six quads, but Tonya shared what it actually felt like being at the Olympics and what went through her head during the 1992 Winter Olympics.
"Being there for the first time and stepping on the ice for the practice sessions, you're going, 'Holy crap, oh my god, this is the Olympics,'" she said. "Then you have to remember you have to bring yourself back down to a level that 'this is just another competition,' so then you're like that for a bit, then you start looking around again and you're like, 'holy crap, I made it!'"
Watch the clip above, and learn more about Tonya and Nancy Kerrigan's scandal here.