Nancy Kerrigan is a retired figure skater with two Olympic medals, two world medals, and U.S National Championship under her belt. She was also famously the victim of assault when, on the eve of the 1994 U.S National Championship, a man hired by Tonya Harding’s husband hit her leg with a baton and forced her to quit the Championship.
Born to parents of modest means in 1969, Kerrigan spent the greater part of her childhood ice skating. She garnered some national attention for her high jumps and performance at the junior level of the 1987 U.S Figure Skating Championship. In 1991, she rose to fame when she not only took home third at the U.S National Figure Skating Championships, but won the bronze medal at the World Championship, resulting in a first-ever sweep of the women’s podium by a single country (her teammates Kristi Yamaguchi and Tonya Harding took home gold and silver, respectively). She only improved in 1992 when she won the silver medal at the World Championships and a bronze at the Olympics. 1993 proved to be a bad year for her despite winning the U.S. Championship: her nerves took a toll on her and she messed up a great deal at the World Championships.
On Jan. 6th, 1994, she was clubbed in the knee by Shane Stant and forced to retire the Championships at Detroit. Fortunately, her knee was not broken, and she trained enough to join the 1994 Olympic team. Overcoming adversity, she won the silver medal at Lillehammer in what was considered one of the best routines of her life.