Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Looking Back - Mystery Assailant Attacks Top US Skater

On this day in 1994, an unknown man brandishing a metal crowbar attacked American figure-skater Nancy Kerrigan.
The 24-year-old skater was forced to withdraw from the US national championships in Detroit after the incident, which left her with severe bruising to her right knee.
The competition was expected to decide who would represent the United States in the forthcoming winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, next month. But that now hangs in the balance.
Normally the top two finishers in these championships would qualify for the Olympics, although the US Figure Skating Association does have some discretion in the electoral process.
'Screaming and sobbing'
The attack happened as Ms Kerrigan, who won a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics, was leaving the ice after a practice session at Cobo Hall, Detroit.
An eye-witness said: "Before she could say anything, a guy ran by, crouched down, whacked her on the knee and kept running.
"Nancy just dropped and started screaming and sobbing."
Ms Kerrigan's agent, Jerry Solomon said: "Nancy sustained quite a blow, physically and mentally.
"This could really affect her mental approach which is so important on the ice."
Police investigating the incident have been told by witnesses that the attacker had been video-taping Ms Kerrigan as she skated before he struck.
It is understood that he was wearing official credentials around his neck but detectives still have no identification.
The attack comes just eight months after tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed by a spectator with a kitchen knife as she played on a court in Hamburg, Germany.
Tonya Harding, 23, went on to win the US Ladies Figure Skating Championship finals in Detroit. But within days police began investigating allegations that the attack had been arranged and carried out by associates of Ms Harding.
Ms Harding's former husband, Jeff Gillooly, her bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt, and two other men were charged with conspiracy but the skater herself denied any involvement in the plot.
Eventually she admitted trying to cover up the Kerrigan attack and was fined $100,000 and given three years' probation.
Both skaters were selected to represent the US team in the Lillehammer Olympics. Ms Kerrigan went on to win a silver medal but Ms Harding performed poorly.
In June of the same year the US Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of her 1994 national championship title and banned her from the organisation for life, which meant she could not compete in any future Olympic Games.
In October 1999 she returned to the ice, coming second at an ESPN event in Huntington, West Virginia, for professional skaters ineligible for Olympic competition.

Awesome Wildlife

Watch Tower!

Time To Stock Up The Cupboards?

According to an article in Monday's Daily Express, the Government have produced a rather alarming report, suggesting that unless drastic action is taken Britain may run out of food within the next 20 years. I am very suspicious of this report as it seems to focus on reviving the argument for GM foods, which was aired a few years ago and thoroughly rejected. Part of the report compiled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concludes that the public must accept genetically modified food and claims that society cannot be 'complacent' about its ability to feed itself. This sounds very much to me like a scare tactic.
One of the more worrying aspects of the report is the fact that it urges shoppers not to insist on always buying local food in order to boost the prosperity of farmers in developing countries. Surely, this would harm our own farming and other food producing industries, which are already struggling, even more. We are already reliant on the Middle East for oil and Russia for gas and have no control over supplies or prices. Do we really want to put ourselves in the same position with our food.
The report also predicts that 60% of Britons will be be obese by 2050 unless diets are improved. This is not being brought about by eating our home grown fresh fruit and vegetables but by eating fast food items packed with preservatives and colourants. On the one hand we are encouraged to support Farmers Markets and check labels for the little tractor symbol, whilst on the other hand we are now being told to eat more produce imported from developing countries. Contradictory, or what? Remember the wartime slogan 'dig for victory'? It may come to that again.

Animal Crackers


Who Am I? - Tuesday's Answer

Who Am I?
Tuesday's Answer
Jensen Button