Every two years, my all-time favorite event occurs – the Olympics.
I watch every sport and love to cheer on our athletes as they compete on the world’s stage and pursue a coveted gold medal.
In true Olympic fan fashion, I also love every movie about the events that transpire when the countries of the world gather to compete.
“Cool Runnings” and “Miracle” have long been my favorites, but recently I watched “I, Tonya” and it definitely secured its spot on the Olympic movie podium.
Margot Robbie stars as famed Olympic villain Tonya Harding in this biographical, mockumentary-style masterpiece.
The film follows the life of Tonya; from her beginnings as a baby on the ice to her distinction as being the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition. It chronicles the events that led to her fall after the incident with Nancy Kerrigan, which resulted in a lifetime ban from competitive figure skating, and the beginning of her career as a boxer.
When I first started the movie, I assumed I’d hate Tonya, as my whole life I’ve been told she bashed in Nancy’s knees at the 1994 Olympics and even today her name is synonymous with assault and scandal, but that wasn’t the case at all.
Instead, I felt bad for her.
Her childhood was horrific. She suffered tremendous emotional and physical abuse by her mother (played excellently by Allison Janney), her father left her, and she fell in love with and married the first man who even looked at her. Surprise, surprise! He was abusive, too, and eventually killed her career.
Everyone was against her. Even the judges couldn’t stand her because she didn’t look the part. She made her own costumes, skated to rock and roll, and wasn’t clean-cut like they believed the sport should be.
All she had was her drive and her skates and you find yourself rooting for her the entire film, even though you know you probably shouldn’t.
The film dives into the details surrounding the knee bashing episode and incorporates interview-style filming into it.
I loved the entire thing.
I always cheer for the underdog, and Tonya was an underdog if there ever was one.
Her beginnings were so bad that you forgive her rough exterior and harsh persona because it’s evident that it’s a survival technique.
Oddly, even though I knew she placed eighth at the infamous 1994 games, I still wanted her to win.
“I, Tonya” is still playing in theaters now.
Be a true Olympic fan, and go watch it.