Featured 25 Feb 1994 Image
Lillehammer Olympics - Figure Skating
Figure Skating - 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics - Women's Singles
The USA's Nancy Kerrigan, who won the silver medal, during the free skating phase of the competition at the Olympic Amphitheatre, Hamar, Norway.
The controversy surrounding Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding in the lead up to the 1994 Games lead to a media frenzy at Lillehammer that was perhaps the greatest in Olympic history.
The pair had finished second and fourth respectively at the 1992 Games, and were rivals for the gold medal. In the lead up to the US Nationals, in which the top two placed skaters qualified for the Olympics, Harding's then husband arranged a hit on Kerrigan with the aim of preventing her competing at the Games, and she was attacked on her legs with a metal baton after a training sessions shortly before the competition. Harding won the US Nationals, but the US figure skating authorities held the other spot open for Kerrigan if she could recover, which she did.
The plot was exposed before the Olympics, and while it was clear that Harding knew of it, and had approved it, the United States Olympic Committee were unable to throw her off the team as she threatened a lawsuit if they did so. Consequently the pair skated against each other at Lillehammer, with saturated news coverage in the build-up. The broadcast of the women's singles competition was one of the most watched programmes in US television history