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Kristi Yamaguchi tells Nancy Kerrigan to ‘break a leg’ on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

The U.S. Olympic Skating Team, women’s singles, pose at the 1992 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Jan. 12, 1992, Orlando, Fla. From left are Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan, and Kristi Yamaguchi.
The U.S. Olympic Skating Team, women’s singles, pose at the 1992 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Jan. 12, 1992, Orlando, Fla. From left are Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan, and Kristi Yamaguchi. AP

Nancy Kerrigan and Kristi Yamaguchi were teammates and roommates back in their glory days as members of the U.S. figure skating squad. In 1992, Kerrigan even introduced Yamaguchi to the man she would one day marry.

But even the most well-intentioned of tweets among old friends can go awry and make things very, very awkward. For example, check out Yamaguchi’s good luck tweet to Kerrigan before her debut this week on “Dancing With the Stars,” a show Yamaguchi won back in 2008.

Kerrigan may be a two-time Olympic medalist, but the reason most people know her name is the infamous 1994 incident in which an assailant associated with her rival Tonya Harding ran up to her after practice and slashed her knee with a metal baton, bruising it so badly she would withdraw from the Olympic trials.

So while “break a leg” is a common enough phrase in show business, it still struck people as very poor phrasing at best and an expert troll job at worst. Yamaguchi has not clarified her comments yet, but some of the responses to her original tweet conveyed people’s reactions in a humorous way.

Kerrigan, for her part, posted a response thanking Yamaguchi for her advice, though she didn’t give any indication as to whether the whole thing was a joke or not.

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