Nicole Bobek, who won the 1995 U.S. Figure Skating Championship and was a member of the 1998 Olympic team, was arrested on Monday on charges that she had conspired to distribute methamphetamine.
The picture on the left is from 1998, when she represented the United States in Nagano. On the right is her arrest mug shot.
Bobek is not the only distaff figure skater, foreign or domestic, to run significantly afoul of the law. In 1997, Oksana Baiul, the Ukranian who won Olympic gold in 1994, drunkenly crashed her luxury car into a tree in Connecticut. (Baiul seems to have put that incident far behind her, however.) And few could forget the bizarre 1994 drama involving Tonya Harding, who along with her ex-husband and a couple of other dignitaries was part of a conspiracy to club fellow American skater Nancy Kerrigan on the knee during the U.S. Championships. Harding won that event, while Kerrigan was forced to withdraw; at the subsequent Olympics, however, Harding finished eighth and Kerrigan took the Silver medal. (Kerrigan herself, some will recall, was caught on microphone at a Walt Disney World publicity parade saying, “This is dumb. I hate it. This is the most corniest [sic] thing I have ever done.” Although Disney was her sponsor, she has nothing but high praise from me for implicitly laying into those assholes.)
There must be a message in here somewhere for parents whose daughters express an interest in figure skating. Sure, let them do it, but by all means make sure they suck at it–an unusual number of champions seem to pay a heavy price.