In S1E11, Rory and Lorelai are going to go ice skating. Rory tells Sookie, “I’m Nancy Kerrigan,” and Lorelai says, “And I’m Tonya Harding. I’m going to do the whole ‘shoelace coming untied, nervous breakdown, let me start again’ act.”
Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding were rival figure skaters during the 1990’s. Harding’s ex-husband and bodyguard hired someone to attack Kerrigan in 1994, but Kerrigan recovered and went on to win a silver medal in the 1994 Olympics. According to Harding, she knew about the attack ahead of time but her ex-husband threatened to kill her if she reported the plan.
The whole “shoelace” act occurred at the 1994 Olympics. Tonya Harding had a problem with her shoelace during the free skate competition, and after failing her first jump, she reported the problem to the referees and was allowed to start over after fixing her lace.