ESPN’s “30 for 30” films tend to be male focused — hence the network’s airing “Nine for IX,” a separate (corrective) set of female-directed, female-centric docs, this summer. But the latest “30 for 30” film to be announced, “The Price of Gold” will be all about two well-known female Olympians as we near the 20th anniversary of a famous controversy in the sport of figure skating.
“The Price of Gold,” which was one of the films touted by the network back at the TCA Summer Press tour when it didn’t yet have a title, will air Thursday, January 16, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film’s directed by Nanette Burstein (“The Kid Stays in the Picture,” “American Teen”), and will explore the rivalry between the two athletes approaching the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, culminating in Kerrigan getting clubbed on the right knee by an unknown assailant at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the ‘Whack Heard Around the World.” It was discovered that the attacker was Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly.
At TCA, when the film was still set for a November premiere, ESPN execs confessed that they’d yet to secure an interview with Kerrigan, and the release for “The Price of Gold” notes the film features interviews with Tonya Harding, Connie Chung, Tony Kornheiser, coaches for both Kerrigan and Harding, Kerrigan’s husband/manager Jerry Solomon “and many others.” Kerrigan’s since signed to do an exclusive interview for NBC with Mary Carillo, who’ll also talk to Harding — the program will air during the network’s Winter Olympics coverage in February.
“This surreal controversy unfolded during a time before the pervasive 24-hour news and tabloid culture that exists today,” said ESPN’s Libby Geist. “This film tells the story of how the Tonya/Nancy saga captured the attention of the world and created one of the most bizarre scandals in sports history.”