In preparation for the 2018 Winter Olympics on February 9th, we take a look back at some of the most memorable moments in Winter Olympics history.
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games open February 9th in Pyeongchang, South Korea and will undoubtedly captivate audiences around the world. There are few sporting events that offer more drama and emotion than the Olympics, with the world’s most skilled athletes performing on a world stage, competing for the most prestigious awards in athletics. And all of it will be captured in photographs and video for generations to relive. Let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable and historic moments in Winter Olympics history.
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In 1980, the United States Men’s hockey team shocked the world by defeating the heavily favored USSR in what would become known as the “Miracle on Ice.”
In 1976, Franz Klammer of Austria set a record for the fastest downhill skiing time in Olympic history and was swarmed by fans in the aftermath.
In 1988, Brian Boitano won the men’s figure skating gold medal, defeating Canada’s Brian Orser in the “Battle of the Brians.”
In 1994, Ukrainian figure skater Oksana Baiul wins the gold medal after suffering injuries in a practice session, becoming the first figure skater to win for an independent Ukraine.
In 1994, the rivalry between American figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan erupted in scandal when Kerrigan was assaulted after a practice session, which was later discovered to have been orchestrated by Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly.
In 1994, American speed skater Dan Jensen finally wins the gold medal in his final race after coming up short in 1988 and 1992. During the 1988 games, he competed hours after learning his sister died at 27 from Leukemia.
In 1994, American speed skater Bonnie Blair becomes one of the most decorated athletes in Olympics history after capturing her fifth gold medal.
In 2002, American Apolo Anton Ohno became a star by capturing a controversial Gold Medal in 1,500 meter short-track speedskating when South Korean competitor Kim Dong-Sung was disqualified. Ohno went on to pop culture fame as a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars. “
In 1988, the Jamaican bobsleigh team inspired the world when they walked to the finish line after crashing during a qualifying run. Hollywood told their story in the 1993 film “Cool Runnings.”
In 1968, figure skater Peggy Fleming became an American hero when she won the only gold medal for the USA, seven years after the figure skating team and her coach perished in a tragic plane crash.
In 2006, German speed skater Claudia Pechstein won her ninth career medal making her the most decorated speed skater in history as well as the most successful German Winter Olympian of all time.
In 1998, Austrian Hermann Maier took home two Gold Medals in alpine skiing after a dramatic crash that nearly paralyzed him.
In 1984, British figure skating duo Torvill and Dean won the gold medal after receiving the highest score for skaters during their performance to Ravel’s “Bolero,” which was watched by an estimated 24 million people in Britain.
In 2010, Shaun White led team USA to a record-setting 37 medals in snowboarding.
In 2014, biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway won his 12th and 13th career medals at the Sochi games, making him the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.
In 1980, American speed skater Eric Heiden won a record five gold medals and set four Olympic records, becoming one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history and an icon of the sport.
In 2002, American Vonetta Flowers became the first black athlete to win a medal in the Winter Olympics, when she won the two-person bobsleigh medal with teammate Jill Bakken.
In 1998, the US Women’s Hockey team upset the favored Canadians to capture the gold medal in the first ever women’s hockey competition at the Winter Olympics.
In 1988, Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards became the first British athlete to compete in ski jumping since 1928. Although he finished last in both competitions, he became a hero and symbol of British determination.
In 2002, German luger Georg Hackl won the Silver Medal in the men’s singles becoming the first Olympian to win a medal in five consecutive Winter Olympics.