A Woman Without a Country

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PHOENIX: Banned for life from competing on the U.S. national team, Tonya Harding has set on a quest to find a new country -- any country -- that will let her skate for them in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Harding's representative, David Hans Schmidt, has faxed a number of foreign media outlets expressing her interest in joining their national teams. One fax, pitching the "friendly Norwegians," made a case for Harding that touched on her genetics as well as her skating ability. "After all, Tonya (with her blonde hair) looks like you people," it said. Schmidt said Sweden could also be a possibility for Harding, who is best known for her role in the 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the national championships. But the road back to glory may be bumpy. The Norwegians have already said no thanks and the Swedes don't appear to be jumping at the opportunity. Schmidt, though, remains undaunted. With more than 100 nations expected to compete in the '98 Olympics, there are still plenty of options: "Maybe she could skate for Bolivia."