A Famous Ice Skating Hitman Finds Redemption Through His Sister’s Eyes
SALT LAKE CITY – It was known as “the shot heard around the world” – the attack on US figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. The hitman was 22-year-old Shane Stant.
A new documentary, ‘My Hero, the Hitman’ examines how Stant has changed since the attack and how he is seen through the eyes of his sister, Maile Stant. Maile was only three years old when his brother kicked Kerrigan’s knee to stop him from competing in the US National Championship.
When Stant was released from prison in 1995, Maile was five years old – too young to understand the event that imprisoned her brother. Or that he was a hitman. She only knew him as a loving protector of a father described as abusive.
An abusive background
Stant said he grew up in an abusive home in Hawaii, where his drug-dealing father beat him with 2x4s. After his mother left because of the abuse, he says she was without the penny.
While Stant doesn’t blame beatings for why he went down the criminal route, he does point to the environment in which he was told he was worthless and had no money. as motivation for trying to get rich using the only skills he thought he had. owned at the time.
“If someone puts you down every day, someone doesn’t do anything to help you. And you’re abused physically, emotionally, mentally; there’s a lot of psychological things you have to do and emotional things you have to overcome. , just to get to zero.
Stant called the hitting Kerrigan his biggest mistake and takes full responsibility for his actions. He said that while he was in prison, he took stock of what would happen after his release. “I think the most important thing is that when I was in prison, I looked at myself and knew that I would be identified with this [the attack] for all time. It wasn’t going anywhere and I had to ask if I wanted to identify with it and make something positive out of it or carry on as before? »
Maile Stant, who is 20 years younger than his brother, never met Shane until he was six. But she said she built him in her mind as the superhero who would save her and her other siblings from their father.
She said when she first saw her brother’s “muscle tank” she was scared for a moment. She wondered if Shane would be worse than their father. “But he literally said ‘hi honey’ and hugged me and it was like he lived up to everything I created him to be in my mind,” Maile said.
“By the way, he’s the one who attacked Nancy Kerrigan”
Maile credits his brother for bringing love and attention into his life and never had a clue he was a hitman. Until she goes to college.
It was there that she first saw articles about Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, and her brother’s name was associated with them.
It was also during Maile’s college years that she met filmmaker Jason Kawika Young. He described one of their conversations.
“She talked about her older brother saying he was her hero. And every good quality she sees in herself was instilled in her by her brother. And then as an aside at the end of that conversation, she says “oh and by the way, that’s the guy who attacked Nancy Kerrigan.”
Young said he thought he misheard Maile because he knew a lot about this event and had never heard that the man who attacked Kerrigan was Hawaiian. But hearing more about his story, he thought it would be an interesting take on the saga.
Maile hadn’t spoken much to her brother since finding out about his role in the attack. She and Shane agreed to film face-to-face while Maile questioned her brother about the event.
Shane and Maile Stant sat down to discuss the dichotomy of the man Maile considers a hero and Kerrigan knows only as a hitman. “My Hero, the Hitman” can be seen on most streaming channels and on Amazon Prime.
All three spoke with Heather Kelly of KSL NewsRadio. Shane said the purpose of the attack, which he said was organized by Jeff Gilooly, Shawn Eckardt and Tonya Harding, was to create a bodyguard industry.
According to Shane, the plan – in addition to stopping Kerrigan from competing – was to scare the athletes so much that they would hire bodyguards to keep them safe, so people like Shane would have a continuous job.
You can hear more of this conversation on Money Making Sense.