Speed skater Dan Jansen
Where: Lillehammer, Norway
What: For pure cry-your-eyes-out spectacle, nothing beats speed skater Dan Jansen’s gold medal win at the 1994 Games. It was the Wisconsinite’s fourth and final try at a place on the podium; he came up dry in the previous three Olympics, most notably in 1988, when his sister, Jane, died of leukemia the morning of the 500m race.
This time around, Jansen fell during his first race, but killed it in the 1000m, beating Belarusian Igor Zhelezovski by 0.29 seconds, and setting a world record in the process. Destiny fulfilled, he took a victory lap carrying his infant daughter, of course named Jane.