Kerrigan Gets OK to Compete : Olympics: After her practice, judges say she is physically ready to skate at Lillehammer.

From Associated Press

A panel of figure skating judges pronounced Nancy Kerrigan physically and mentally fit for the Olympics, despite an attack last month that knocked her out of the national championships.

“If there were any doubt or any questions about Nancy Kerrigan’s skating condition, she answered them for us this afternoon,” said Chuck Foster, secretary to the U.S. Olympic Committee and one of the four judges who watched Kerrigan in a closed workout at her practice rink. “We expect that she is going to do very well in Norway.”

In Portland, Ore., Jeff Gillooly, ex-husband of skating champion Tonya Harding, met with investigators at the FBI office one day after he pleaded guilty to racketeering in the Jan. 6 attack on Kerrigan, whose right leg was smashed with a collapsible baton just before the national championships in Detroit.


Meanwhile, ABC News reported that the USOC is planning a hearing next week on Harding’s Olympic eligibility, but a USOC spokesman denied it. U.S. Figure Skating Assn. officials are expected to have a recommendation on Harding by the end of the week.

Kerrigan’s selection to the Olympic team had been contingent upon Wednesday’s evaluation of her skating. The judges said they were impressed by Kerrigan’s stamina after she skated her long program twice, which Foster said “people in the best of conditions haven’t done.”

“What we saw was not only good physical condition with a high level of stamina, but her mental condition was very good,” said Kathleen Kelly-Cutone, a judge who was national collegiate champion in 1987, the year before Kerrigan.

Kerrigan left the rink several hours after her performance, smiling broadly but declining to answer questions. She is to perform in a charity exhibition Friday night at Northeastern University.

Harding also skated Wednesday at a suburban Portland shopping mall, but she fell the first two times she tried her trademark triple axel before successfully landing a third one. Her workout lasted only half an hour because she had trouble starting her truck and was 45 minutes late to practice.