It makes sense that Kristi Yamaguchi wanted to express her best wishes for Nancy Kerrigan’s debut Monday on “Dancing With the Stars.” After all, not only was Yamaguchi a veteran of the popular show, her career as a U.S. Olympic figure skater overlapped with Kerrigan’s.
In general, it also makes sense that someone in that position would want to say, “Break a leg,” given that’s the longtime go-to phrase when wishing another person good luck in a show-business endeavor. But, um … not in this case, right?
Kerrigan, of course, was at the center of one of the Olympics’ most infamous incidents when she had her knee deliberately injured about six weeks before the 1994 Winter Games. The perpetrators were discovered to have been associated with rival U.S. skater Tonya Harding, and while the injury did not stop Kerrigan from competing — in fact, she went on to win a silver medal — she became less famous for her athletic accomplishments than her plaintive cries of “Why? Why?” immediately after the attack.
So was Yamaguchi, who won gold to Kerrigan’s bronze at the 1992 Olympics and emerged triumphant in her “DWTS” season in 2008, only guilty of poor phrasing? Or was this an expert troll job? While we wait to hear if Yamaguchi cares to explain, the Internet had a field day with her tweet.
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) March 22, 2017
— Kevin O'Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) March 22, 2017
— John Asante (@jkbasante) March 22, 2017
— Micah Singleton (@MicahSingleton) March 22, 2017
There are many, many more GIFs where those came from for anyone who wants to click on Yamaguchi’s original tweet. Just one more question: given that Yamaguchi has tens of thousands of Twitter followers, and this Internet thing is pretty good at instantaneous reaction, why did her post take two days to go viral?
As for the 47-year-old Kerrigan, she and professional partner Artem Chigvintsev scored a solid 28 in their first performance, tying her with former Cubs catcher David Ross. The high scorer was another Olympic star of more recent vintage, gymnast Simone Biles, who notched a 32 with partner Sasha Farber. Veteran NFL running back Rashad Jennings, with Emma Slater, was right behind at 31.
Regardless of the scores, though, we can all probably agree that the important thing was that Kerrigan came out of it with her lower body completely intact.