Kristi Yamaguchi tells Nancy Kerrigan to ‘break a leg’ before Dancing with the Stars debut

For most, telling someone to “break a leg” is a welcome gesture for good luck.

But for former figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, it might not be the best choice of words before a stage debut.

Former figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi erred when she tweeted at Kerrigan to ‘break a leg’ before her upcoming performance on Dancing With The Stars.

The honest gesture became a viral reminder of an almost career ending incident for Kerrigan in 1994.

In January 1994, Kerrigan was clubbed on the right knee with a police baton minutes after a practice skating session at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The attack was planned by Kerrigan’s rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and another man in an attempt to keep her from being able to perform in the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Kerrigan was ultimately able to compete at the Olympics in Lillehammer, where she won silver. While her return was a triumph, the incident overshadowed her skating career. but she missed out on the U.S championships that year because of the attack. She retired later that year.

The Twittersphere lit up Tuesday in response to Yamaguchi’s gesture of luck. The resulting thread of replies was mostly just a collection knee-slapping funny GIFs that depicted everyone’s shock at Yamaguchi’s word choice.

Yamaguchi herself previously appeared on Dancing with the Stars, winning the competition in the show’s sixth season.


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