Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images, Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund

Nancy Kerrigan says that she never thinks about Tonya Harding and what happened to her before the 1994 Winter Olympics unless she has to.

Now that it's exactly 20 years later...she was pretty much forced to remember what was crudely dubbed at the time "the whack heard round the world."

"I really don't look back unless someone asks me to look back, and then I have to," Kerrigan—who won silver at those games after recovering from being clubbed in the knee in an attack involving rival figure skater Harding—told USA Today last week. "Otherwise, why would I? I was attacked."

An assailant later identified as an associate of Harding's ex-husband thwacked Kerrigan under her right kneecap with a metal baton on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 1994, outside Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, where she had just finished a practice session.

Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding, Olympics

Mike Powell/Getty Images, Chris Cole/Allsport

Harding had a lackluster, eighth-place showing at the Olympics in Lillehammer that was most notable for her tearing up when the lace of her skate broke during her routine. She later pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution and she was banned from amateur skating (which includes all prestigious levels of competition, including the Olympics) for life.

"It was 20 years ago and I don't remember lots and lots of it," Harding also told USA Today. "I know it was a horrible time for everyone involved. It was a bad streak, going through all the crud, and I was able to rise above it. I think Nancy and I have good lives now."

Harding's post-skating exploits included reality TV, boxing and vintage-car racing before she settled down as a wife and mother of a now-2-old son. 

Kerrigan, who obviously had the world on her side following the scandalous events of 2004, moved on to host Saturday Night Live and skated professionally for a few years. She was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2004 and now lives in Boston with her husband and three kids.

"To think it's me—it's a lifetime ago," Kerrigan said during a sit-down on Today last year. "It hurts to see anybody in such pain. It's a long time ago. I just moved on."

About her almost-championship performance, just seven weeks after the attack, Kerrigan said: 

"I think you can train and you can learn to focus and you can learn to do that but it's to a different level when it's at such high-level pressure. It's that I think only a few people get to through adversity, through having to work through something. It's a little more than just concentration. I don't know how you get there without someone sort of forcing you into it."

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