HAMAR, Norway — Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan's camp resolved to react with restraint to the announcement in the early morning hours here Sunday that rival Tonya Harding will compete in the Winter Olympics, but, by the end of the day, the frustration and anger was pouring out.
"This is such a tough deal for Nancy," her coach, Evy Scotvold, said Sunday night. "She faces a second wound.
"She has to face somebody . . . whether that person or her family was trying to do her in, and yet they come in here with such bravado.
"We don't live in a perfect world. Sometimes, as those license plates say, it just stinks."
Paul Wylie, the Olympic men's silver medalist in 1992 and a close friend of Kerrigan's after training with her for several years in the Boston area, said he was so upset after learning of the settlement between the U.S. Olympic Committee and Harding that gives Harding the green light to skate in the Olympics that he could not sleep.
But he reserved his harshest judgments for the International Skating Union's insistence that Kerrigan and Harding must share practice times at the official rinks inside the Olympic Amphitheatre.
"All they seem to be concerned about is protecting Tonya," said Wylie, who is working as a commentator for CBS. "Nobody seems to be standing up to protect Nancy, especially in the area of practices.
"Nancy is the one who suffered the injury. Let's not forget that."
As for Kerrigan, she practiced as scheduled Sunday afternoon, and although she did not look as sharp as she did the previous two days, Scotvold said that it had nothing to do with her reaction to the news about Harding. He said that he advised her to back off because she had been trying too hard to be perfect in practices since arriving last Thursday.
Afterward, Chelsea Clinton, whose mother led the official U.S. government delegation that attended Saturday's opening ceremony in Lillehammer, was allowed to speak to Kerrigan, but reporters were not.
Kerrigan's agent, Jerry Solomon, later issued a statement from his client that said: "As you all know by now, I am not a lawyer and have tried to stay out of the fray in the whole matter of the investigation on the attack to my knee, which resulted in my having to withdraw from the U.S. championships. It has now been some 35 days since I was hit, and they have been trying ones to say the least.
"It seems now, for the moment and as it relates to the Olympic competition, the matter has been resolved. Regardless of my opinion of the ruling, the Olympics have begun and it is time to skate. We have all worked very hard to get here, and I hope now that the focus can turn to the competition and all of the athletes who represent the pinnacle of athleticism and sportsmanship."
Solomon added that Kerrigan will offer no more statements until her competition begins Feb. 23, which means that reporters will have to draw their own conclusions about how she handles practicing with Harding. Scheduled to arrive Wednesday, Harding could be sharing a rink with Kerrigan by the next afternoon.
Clearly disturbed because the ISU will not change the practice assignments so that Kerrigan and Harding can skate separately, Scotvold said: "Everyone has kept silent, but silence is not weakness. The most important thing is that Nancy came here to be a champion. She is trying to do that by taking the high road and doing it right.
"Maybe that doesn't work today in society. Maybe it's who yells loudest and most profane."
Despite repeated pleas by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Figure Skating Assn., the ISU has not budged.
"If they don't like it, don't bring her," said ISU vice president Lawrence Demmy of Great Britain, referring to Harding. "You come as a team, you skate as a team."
The United States' representative to the ISU Council, Chuck DeMore, agreed, arguing that placing Kerrigan and Harding in separate practices would attract large media contingents to both and burden twice as many skaters.
"By splitting up the practice, you would expand the disturbance element to other skaters," he said. "It isn't fair. This is an American problem. (Kerrigan) is going to have to face the reality. She'll be on the ice at the same time (with Harding). She might as well get used to it."
Wylie said the ISU position is wrong. "They think they're minimizing the problem by having them at a single practice," he said. "But instead of having a small problem at two practices, you're going to have an extra-large problem at one."
Beyond that, he said, the ISU is not taking into consideration Kerrigan's feelings about being forced to practice with a skater who has been implicated by a U.S. Figure Skating Assn. hearing panel in the Jan. 6 assault on her at the national championships in Detroit.
"Nancy has a scenario in her head," Wylie said. "She says, 'I can handle this, and I can handle that.' But each day she has had to take on more stress because of the events that are unfolding here."