By Mac Cerullo
---- — AMESBURY — Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan will be coming to Amesbury later this month for a free public skate-around, Amesbury Chamber director Melissa LaChance announced this week.
The world-renowned skater, who grew up in Stoneham and still lives in the area, agreed to visit after LaChance reached out to her through a mutual friend.
“I have a friend that has worked with the Kerrigans for a long time, and one of our goals at the chamber is to do give-back events,” LaChance said. “So we thought let’s try to see if Nancy Kerrigan will come to Amesbury to go ice skating with the kids.”
Kerrigan will be at the Amesbury Sports Park on Thursday, Feb. 28, where a special rink will be built for the occasion. The exact time of the event is still to be determined, but LaChance said it would most likely be in the late afternoon into the early evening.
LaChance said the Chamber would also be partnering with the Lions Club, which has a book drive going on, and said she would be encouraging people to bring a book with them to donate in lieu of selling tickets.
“We’re building an ice skating rink at the Amesbury Sports Park,” LaChance said. “We contacted this company that’s going to build a home-made ice skating rink, so we’re going to have ice skating, hot chocolate, bring a book for the Lions Club and have it be a fun night out.”
LaChance said she think this will be a fun event for the community and hopes lots of people come out.
Kerrigan rose to prominence in the figure skating world in the early ‘90s, when she won a bronze medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics along with a silver medal at the 1992 World Championships.
She garnered worldwide fame outside the skating world in 1994 after she was infamously attacked with a police baton during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, an assault that was later found to have been perpetrated by rival skater Tonya Harding.
Kerrigan suffered severe bruises on her knee as a result, and the attack forced her to withdraw from the championships. She was later named to the Olympic team regardless and went on to win the silver medal at the 1994 Winter Games.
Since her retirement after the Olympics, Kerrigan has remained a fixture in the figure skating world, particularly as a performer in ice shows. She has also done work on television, recently working as a special correspondent to “Entertainment Tonight” during the 2010 Winter Olympics.