Yet another troubled former figure skater is in the news today. Former U.S. champ Nicole Bobek has been sentenced to five years of probation for getting involved with a New Jersey methamphetamine ring.
Bobek, whose flamboyant style on the ice and penchant for costume jewelry earned her the nickname the Madonna of skating, pledged to a Jersey City judge that she will get her life on track with the sentence, which came after she pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute crystal meth in June.
Bobek’s mom was there to support her daughter, who will serve her probation in Jupiter, Fla., where her family lives. Bobek will also do 250 hours of community service there, where her mom can offer her support. (She’s never met her father.)
Bobek was the U.S. figure skating champ in 1995, when she was only 16 years old. Three years later, she was expected to medal at the Olympics, but instead she placed a disappointing 17th, which she blames for her downward spiral. Keep reading for what happened next, plus other figure skaters who’ve also gotten in big trouble.
At yesterday’s sentencing, Bobek’s lawyer said the low finish at the Olympics took a “psychological toll” on his client. She quickly went from skating princess to drug addict, and spiraled into apparent meth seller.
Perhaps her mom can help Nicole rebuild her life, but there’s a real argument for keeping kids off the ice, as Bobek is hardly the only young star to have serious problems.
Oksana Baiul famously plowed her car into a tree while driving drunk three years after winning gold at the Winter Olympics.
Former U.S. men’s champion Christopher Bowman died of a drug overdose last year.
And then there’s Tonya Harding, whose list of woes is so long and so well known they hardly need recounting, but suffice to say Nancy Kerrigan’s knees were never the same again.