PHOTOS: Olympians Nancy Kerrigan and Kayla Harrison visit LIC Flea to film show

Kerrigan close up edit
THE COURIER/Photos by Angela Matua

Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and Olympic Judo gold-medalist Kayla Harrison came to the LIC Flea & Food in Long Island City on Sunday to compete in a new kind of sport — flea market flipping.

Hosted by Lara Spencer, co-anchor of “Good Morning America,” HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” follows two teams as they hunt for treasures at flea markets around the country and then flip and sell them for a profit. Each team receives $500, and the team who sells their items for the most wins.

Nancy Kerrigan chose to play with her son, Matthew Solomon, while Kayla Harrison competed with her grandmother, Rachel.

According to Kerrigan, her husband and manager Jerry Solomon approached Spencer at the U.S. Open and pitched the idea of a celebrity edition of the show. He invited Harrison, who in 2012 became the first American to win an Olympic medal in Judo, to compete against his wife.

Kerrigan and her son, Matthew, 18, said they enjoyed rebuilding their flea market finds and learned a lot from the master craftsmen who help the contestants transform each piece.

“My favorite part is definitely the remaking of things. It’s a new experience,” Nancy Kerrigan said. “I mean we’ve experienced buying things but not so much selling and rebuilding.”

For one of their projects, Kerrigan and Solomon turned an 11-foot bench window seat into a console table. The duo cut the table in half and added legs for some height. They also refurbished a piece of a vanity to create two nightstands. Two ladders were turned into shelves, with hooks to fasten them against a wall.

“We got to really use our skills and decide what we were going to transform the pieces into,” Solomon said.

Harrison invited her grandmother, “who has been going to flea markets since before I was born,” to join the competition. The pair bought all of their pieces for $20 each and worked creatively to completely transform them into something new. An old trunk was fashioned into a bar and desk combo, a window and storage base became a coffee table and two chairs were reupholstered and painted military blue and champagne gold.

Harrison said she enjoyed “seeing her [grandmother] in her element, doing what she loves” and working with the talented crew.

New episodes of “Flea Market Flip” air Sundays at 8 p.m. on HGTV.