Nancy Kerrigan

By: Riley McBee

Life Brief

Nancy Kerrigan was born on February 7, 1968, in Stoneham, Massachusetts near Boston. She also grew up in this small suburban town. Nancy was the third and youngest child of Dan and Brenda Kerrigan. She has two older brothers, Mark which was seven when she was born and Micheal was five. Nancy went to Emmanuel College for her education. From the time she was a little kid until 1994, figure skating was Nancy's main focus. Now she just lives a normal life, and has appeared in a few television shows. Nancy married Jerry Solomon, on September 19, 1995. They had three kids, Matthew, Brian, and Nicole and now live in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.

Background Symbolism

The background and Nancy Kerrigan relate because the background has snow and Nancy's life was iceskating. Nancy's dad said this, "Nancy was a quiet little girl, but once she was on the ice, her shyness seemed to disappear" (Edelson 19). The ice rink was her happy place. She of all people know what is like to be cold. Nancy also grew up in a place that has very cold temperatures and snows a lot.

Pick 3

~ Nancy had very many friends although she had one rival, Tonya Harding. In the 1992 Olympics, Tonya was one of the two women who had landed a triple Axel in the competition. "...but she was not quite as graceful on the ice as Kerrigan or Yamaguchi" (Edelson 9). Kerrigan and Harding always had a underlying rivalry with each other. I found this interesting because of how many people loved Nancy and how many friends she had.

~ Nancy still appears in numerous advertisements including, Campbell Soup, Walt Disney World, Ray Ban, J.C. Penny, Seiko, and Reebok. This shows how much the world loved her. What I found interesting is that she retired in 1994 and still to this day she is in advertisements.

~ Nancy and her husband, Jerry Solomon, had their first kid, Matthew, in December 1996. "Though Nancy was excited to be a new mother, she also planned to continue skating, and she had to work hard to regain her fitness level" (Edelson 57). It's amazing how fast she recovered. Just four months after giving birth to Matthew, Nancy was back on the ice, performing in the 1997 U.S. Professional Figure Skating Championships held in San Jose, California. She had an amazing work ethic.


When Nancy Kerrigan was little, she described herself as a tomboy. At six years old she became a figure skater. At age nine, Nancy won her first competition at the Boston Open. Nancy has competed in a couple of Olympics, worlds, nationals, and so many more competitions. She has won 13 medals, all ranging from 1st to 3rd place. Now Nancy is married to Jerry Solomon and has three wonderful kids. "Nancy Kerrigan is now able to enjoy her family and her career without the pressure of succeeding in front of millions people" (Edelson 59). She has lived a very accomplished life and was very worthy to receive a biography about her life.


"On January 6, 1994, Nancy was walking in the arena with her father when a man came out of the shadows and hit her leg with a lead pipe. Before Nancy knew it, she was on the floor, screaming in shock and pain. Her father lifted Nancy in his arms and carried her to a hospital" (Edelson 34). Nancy ended up having no broken bones, but her knee and parts of her thigh were badly swollen and bruised. She was not able to compete in that National Championship. Usually, the top two finishers of that competition are on the Olympic figure skating team. Since she was not able to skate in these Nationals, there seemed to be no way she would be allowed to skate at the 1994 Olympics. Considering that she was unfairly eliminated from the competition that she was expected to win, the United States Olympic Committee officials invited her to skate on the Olympic team. She was thrilled. Tonya Harding won the National Championships, and Michelle Kwan received 2nd place. That meant that Kerrigan and Harding would represent the United States in the 1994 Olympics. A few days after the National Championships ended, the police charged a man named Shane Stant with the assault of Nancy Kerrigan. Then, the police learned that Stant had been hired by Sean Eckardt, who lived in Tonya Harding's hometown. They later found out that Eckardt was friends with Harding's former husband, Jeff Giooly and he admitted that he had hired Eckhardt to hurt Nancy and put her out of the Nationals. "Giooly went to say that Eckardt had asked Stant to do the job of actually injuring Nancy with the lead pipe, and that Stant and Eckardt had been trying for several weeks to find Nancy and to hurt her" (Edelson 35). Tonya Harding also helped throughout the plan. This news shocked the nation when it was reported. Nancy's recovery was slow, but she got through it by the love from the nation, family, and her friends. She said that this injury did not impact how she skated later in the 1994 Olympics. This time was a big struggle for Nancy.

Mentor/ Friend

I think that Nancy's biggest mentor was her dad, Dan Kerrigan. "To pay for Nancy's training and make ends meet, Dan Kerrigan worked extra jobs, but he took pains to spend time with his family as well" (Edelson 19). Nancy's dad cared so much about her. He felt strongly that Nancy should have the training she needed to become a world class skater. "I knew that my young daughter was happiest when she was skating" (Edelson 19). Every night he would come home and have dinner with his family and then went to his night job. His family was very important to him. Nancy's dad just wanted to see his little girl happy.


Nancy Kerrigan was a very good skater and has competed in a couple of Olympics including the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France finishing with a bronze medal, and the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway finishing with a silver medal. Nancy has also won a couple World Championships for skating too. In 1992, she won a silver medal in Oakland. She also won the bronze medal in Munich in 1991. Lastly, in 1989 she won a bronze medal for the Winter Universiade in Sofia. Nancy worked very hard to receive these awards.

Hobbies/ Interests

Obviously, Kerrigan's favorite hobby is ice skating. This basically took over her life. As a child, one of her favorite things to do was to play hockey with her two older brothers. This helped when she wanted to become a ice skater when she was 6 years old. Now, she loves acting and directing in tv shows and movies. She hosts a television show on ice skating that is shown in Massachusetts. "She still skates for the fun of it" (Edelson 58). She participates in some professional competitions every once in a while, but mainly she skates in exhibitions. Nancy is also interested in business, she studied it in college.


I think a symbol that could be used for Nancy Kerrigan would be an ice skate. This sport is her life. She has spent most of her lifetime training, competing, and pursuing her career with the amazing talent of ice skating. "By the time Nancy was ten years old, she was skating for four hours everyday"(Edelson 20). Ice skating consumed her life, although she loved it.

Friend or Foe?

I think that I would be friends with Nancy if I knew her. She seems like someone who is very humble and sweet. One reason is that I know what it's like balancing training, school, and spending time with friends. Like her, I dance a lot of hours a week and it's hard to spend time with friends. I understand when she has to turn people down because she has to do homework or practice. Another reason would be that dance and ice skating are kind of similar. Ice skating is basically dancing on ice. We would be able to bond over that. Lastly, we both are very close to our families and care a lot about them. We love to spend time with them. I feel like Nancy would be a great friend.

Most Like

I feel like Nancy Kerrigan is a lot like the famous Olympic gymnast, Shawn Johnson. One reason would be they both know the amount of hours they had to spend to train for the Olympics. They know that their sports take over their life when training for something so big like that. Another reason is that they both had almost career ending injuries and know how devastating it was. To get back in the swing of things, they both know how hard it was. Lastly, they know what it's like to first be in the Olympics and also win in the Olympics. Shawn Johnson has won a gold medal, and Nancy has won a silver and bronze. They know how much their work pays off.

Altruist or Egotist?

I view Nancy Kerrigan as an altruist. One reason is that she is very humble and grateful about her awards and accomplishments. She does not brag or rub it into people's faces when she wins. Another reason is that she is very close to her family. "Her closely-knit family always traveled with her and cheered her on whenever she was on the ice" (Edelson 19). Nancy always put her family first and cared a lot about them.


Brenda Kerrigan

When Nancy was about two years old, her mom was stricken with a rare eye disease that left her legally blind. "Although barely able to see, Brenda did manage to take care of her three children during the long hours her husband spent as a welder" (Edelson 17). Nancy would sometimes have to choose her clothes for her, and she also later learned how to put her mothers makeup on her. The Kerrigan house was always filled with warmth, love, and laughter. Nancy was very thankful for her mom and she was very special to her.

Nancy Kerrigan's Family

In September 1995 Nancy married her agent, Jerry Solomon. They moved into a house eight miles away from where Nancy's family lives, in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. Nancy and Jerry have 3 kids Matthew, Brian, and Nicole that they love dearly. Her family is very important to her and she loves to spend time with them.