At the Olympic games, there are always shocking moments. Someone trips and falls, or an athlete that was thought to have been a top contender for the gold medal comes in last place. I have written an article on what I feel are some of the most surprising moments in Winter Olympic History.
Making History– Figure skater Tara Lipinski was only 15 years old when she won the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. She had a flawless long program, and was the first to incorporate numerous triple/triple combinations into her routine – landing 7 triple jumps in all. She remains the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the winter games, and the youngest ever ladies Olympic figure skating champion.
Playing Dirty– Nancy Kerrigan, the 1994 Olympic Silver medalist in figure skating, was clubbed in the knee just a few weeks before the Olympic games at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Tonya Harding’s bodyguard and ex husband executed the attack. Harding was Kerrigan’s rival in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Kerrigan still made the Olympic team and took home the silver medal, but was remembered for making snarky remarks about the gold medal winner, 16-year-old Oksana Baiul of Russia. While Kerrigan took home the silver at the Olympic games, Harding cried about a broken shoelace. Many people remember Kerrigan’s incident, as footage of the attack was shown numerous times on national television.
Ya, Mon! – When you think of Jamaica, you usually think of beaches, thick native accents, and dreadlocks. Bobsledding is probably the last thing that comes to mind, but in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Jamaica made history by competing in the four-man bobsled event for the first time. Team members Nelson Chris Stokes, Dudley Stokes, Devon Harris and Michael White were the first to compete in bobsled for their country. This story was eventually made into the Disney movie “Cool Running’s, and loosely portrayed the team’s journey to the Olympic games.
Catching Air – The opening ceremonies always have surprising things happening almost everywhere you turn, and if you don’t look quickly enough, you might miss something! During the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver, a snowboarder flew through the middle of the Olympic Rings, taking everyone by surprise!
Speeding to Success – Speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno skated his way to fame at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002. His gold medal win didn’t come without controversy though, as the speed skater from South Korea who was initially ahead of Ohno got disqualified for an illegal block. After Ohno’s win, many South Koreans sent death threats to him, saying the incident was unfair.
The Winter Olympics have had some very shocking moments in the past, from the youngest athletes winning the gold, to Jamaica competing in bobsled. Something unexpected always happens at the games, and I’m sure the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi will prove to be no different!