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In the lead-up to the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, the figure skating world was closely watching Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. After Kerrigan was attacked just one day before the US Figure Skating Championship in January 1994, the whole world was watching. Kerrigan and Harding were both dominating the sport before the attack. Harding won first at the 1991 US Championship, placed fourth in the 1992 Olympics, and became the first American woman to successfully land a triple Axel in competition and the second woman to do it in history. 
But it was Kerrigan who had the momentum before Lillehammer. She won a silver medal at the Olympics in 1992 and was named the US Championship in 1993. A day before she could have the chance to defend her title, Kerrigan was struck with a baton just above her right knee. It was soon revealed that Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and her bodyguard Shawn Eckardt had orchestrated the attack. Kerrigan was forced to withdraw from the championship games and Harding won first place. Both women were then selected for the US 1994 Olympic team. Kerrigan went on to win silver at the Olympics while Harding finished in eighth place. Harding was later banned for life from participating in US Figure Skating as either a skater or coach after a USFSA panel concluded that she had prior knowledge of the attack.