The world was introduced to Tonya Harding when she rocketed into the public eye as a talented but controversial figure skater with a shot at success in the Olympics. After her husband orchestrated an attack on fellow competitor Nancy Kerrigan (which Harding denied having knowledge of), Harding pled guilty to hindering the investigation and was banned from competitive skating from then on. So what does Tonya Harding do for a living now that figure skating is no longer an option?
The careers Harding has tried out in the last 24 years run the gamut from the surprising to the bizarre. She's gone after a variety of jobs, but currently seems to be sticking to media appearances and mothering her son Gordon. She received a share in the profits from I, Tonya, as well as $1,500 for optioning her life story in the first place. In an interview with Margot Robbie for The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson explained that in addition to interviews and family responsibilities, Harding does landscaping and deck-building work.
Harding will also be appearing in Season 26 of Dancing with the Stars, which begins on April 30. The special shortened season is comprised entirely of former athletes, and Harding will be partnered with Sasha Farber.
After giving up skating, Harding cycled through quite a few jobs, some in the entertainment industry and some outside it. She had a band called the Golden Blades that were openly booed at a Portland gig in 1995; a year later she appeared in the movie Breakaway, which remains her only acting credit, though she did do some television commentating. She appeared on truTV's The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest... in the last decade as a panelist. Lately, in the wake of I, Tonya, she's had even more media appearances.
But she had several working experiences very far from anything Hollywood-adjacent, too. According to an interview with The New York Times, she had been "a welder, a painter at a metal fabrication company, a hardware sales clerk at Sears." She embraced hunting in her personal life alongside husband Joseph Jens Price, apparently becoming a very skilled archer in the process.
Harding has given other sports a shot as well. Though it appears to be more of a hobby than something she did for a living, Harding set a record at the Bonneville Salt Flats during "Speed Week" while driving a vintage car. But her two-year foray into boxing received much more publicity. In 2002 she took part in the Fox series Celebrity Boxing in a match opposite Paula Jones, which launched her short career as a boxer.
Though she wasn't quite as skilled as those who had been involved in the sport for years, promoter Tony Holden told ESPN:
Tonya started [boxing] way too late and was very limited. Her tenacity was her strength. She gave it her all and never laid down, but she could never have contended with the top fighters at the time because she didn't have any amateur background. Her skills and defense lacked. It was more of a media attraction than a pure boxing show. But she took it 100 percent seriously and trained very hard.
Harding told the Times that she didn't really like boxing, which may have prevented her from pursuing it more seriously. She also had her health to consider, as the asthma she'd dealt with for years put a strain on her. She ultimately suffered a bout of pneumonia that ended her training, according to the New York Daily News. But Harding has left that behind in favor of other pursuits. And who knows? Now dancing might become her newest passion.
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