Relive 10 of the Biggest Figure Skating Moments in Olympic History

Before the best skaters in the world take the ice in Beijing, take a look back at the most dazzling moments of Winter Olympics past

01 of 10

NANCY KERRIGAN'S POST-ATTACK SILVER

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More than 25 years later, the bizarre incident involving Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan and a club to Kerrigan's knee continues to fascinate. And in 1994, just seven weeks after the attack at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, it was all anyone was talking about. The personal drama made it all the more impressive that Kerrigan recovered and kept her cool enough to skate to a silver medal, narrowly missing gold to Oksana Baiul in a controversial judging call.

02 of 10

DEBI THOMAS BECOMES THE FIRST BLACK MEDALIST

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She didn't win gold, but Thomas' medal at the Calgary Games in 1988 was history-making all the same. Thomas's bronze medal skate (Germany's Katarin Witt earned gold) made her the first Black person to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. At that point, she was already a star in the skating world: In 1986, two years prior to the Olympics, she won the National and World Championships.

03 of 10

DOROTHY HAMILL'S GOLD

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Hamill, one of the best-known skaters in American history, rose to fame after claiming the gold medal in 1976 in Innsbruck. After the competition she was dubbed "America's sweetheart," and her hairstyle earned her a permanent place in pop culture history.

04 of 10

TARA LIPINSKI UPSETS MICHELLE KWAN FOR GOLD

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Kwan was undoubtedly the biggest American skating star of the late '90s and early aughts, but never managed to nab that elusive gold medal. Despite skating almost flawlessly in 1998 in Nagano, she was upset by then 15-year-old Lipinski, who became the first female skater to land the triple loop/triple loop combination in competition during her long program.

05 of 10

SARAH HUGHES GETS GOLD, MICHELLE KWAN GETS BRONZE

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JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty

Four years later, in 2002, Kwan again seemed to be the frontrunner. But Hughes' program, which included several triple jumps, outweighed Kwan's in difficulty. Hughes got the gold in Salt Lake City, while Kwan got the bronze, despite the fact that she had been in first place after the short program.

06 of 10

TIMOTHY GOEBEL LANDS THREE QUAD JUMPS

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Another highlight of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake CIty? Goebel landing a record three quad jumps in one single program. Shockingly, the impressive move got him only a bronze medal, falling short to two Russian skaters, but earned him lots of adoration and praise back home in the U.S.A.

07 of 10

14-YEAR-OLD SCOTT ALLEN WINNING BRONZE

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Winning an Olympic medal is impressive no matter what. But winning a medal at 14 years old? Well, that's even more awe-inspiring. Allen took home the bronze medal in 1964 at the games in Innsbruck, just two days before his 15th birthday.

08 of 10

MERYL DAVIS AND CHARLIE WHITE'S GOLD MEDAL ICE DANCING

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Ice dancers Davis and White first paired up in 1997, and continued as a team all the way to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. There, they nabbed record scores in both their short program and free dance, which earned them a gold medal — the first for the United States in ice dancing.

09 of 10

BRIAN BOITANO IS THE FIRST AMERICAN TO LAND A TRIPLE AXEL

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The triple axel is perhaps the most elusive figure skating jump. And while it's become more common in men's programs today, it's still a big deal — and was an even bigger deal back in 1988. That year in Calgary, Boitano became the first American to land the jump in competition. Competing against Canadian skater Brian Orser in the "Battle of the Brians," Boitano didn't just land the notoriously challenging jump — he went on to win gold.

10 of 10

KRISTI YAMAGUCHI'S DROUGHT-ENDING GOLD

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In 1992, it had been 16 years since an American woman had brought home figure skating gold — all the way since Hamill's win in 1976. But Olympic audiences got an end to the drought with Yamaguchi, who won gold in Albertville, France, becoming the first Asian-American woman to win a gold medal at either the Summer or Winter Olympics.

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