Tonya Harding Explains Why She's 'So Glad' Not to be Competing in the Olympics

Tonya Harding
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Tonya Harding says the Olympics have changed since she competed all those years ago.

The 47-year-old former figure skater appears on Monday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and talks about what it was like watching this year's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

"Wow, I'm so glad I'm not competing against them now," Harding says of the Olympic figure skaters, noting that the "point system" has changed. "I was all about doing the triple axel or the triple-triple, and now you can do the triple-triple and still get the same points that you would for the triple axel. So, why do the triple axel?"

Harding was the first American woman to successfully do a triple axel in a competition, and recalls the moment she knew she landed the move. "I was like, 'Yes! I did this!'" she says. "I competed for me but I performed for the people."

Harding also remembers being at the Olympics and thinking, "Holy crap."

"Then you have to remember to bring yourself back down to a level that this is just another competition," she explains. "You're like that for a bit and then you start to look around and you're like, 'Holy crap, this is the Olympics.'"

Harding has found herself back in the limelight this year after the success of the movie I, Tonya, which is about her life as a figure skater. She tells DeGeneres that she's quite happy with how the film turned out.

"I achieved something in my life that meant something," she says. "With the new movie, it actually made my life feel like it was worth something."

In January, Harding joined the I, Tonya cast at the Golden Globes and celebrated with Allison Janney after she won for her portrayal of LaVona Golden, Harding's mother. 

"She was overwhelmed by the movie," Janney told ET's Kevin Frazier of Harding's reaction to the critically acclaimed film. "I think she's having a great moment. I think she loves it and I think she should because the movie tells a more nuanced side of her story."

Janney added, "It's much more complicated then what we first thought when this incident happened back in the '90s."

Check out more of our exclusive interview with the Golden Globe winner: 


Tonya Harding Nearly Walks Out of Piers Morgan Interview After Being Told to 'Stop Playing the Victim'

Tonya Harding Says She Knew 'Something Was Up' Before 1994 Nancy Kerrigan Attack

Mirai Nagasu Becomes First American Woman to Land Triple Axel in Olympics

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