January 6, 1994: 21 years ago today, one of the most famous scandals in sports history took place. Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan skates off the ice after a practice session at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit and as she goes behind a curtain off the ice she's clubbed in the knee. She crumples in pain and the cameras catch the horrific cries in the aftermath in the incident that became known as "The Whack Heard Round the World":
What unfolded was the known involvement of Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt. The men had hired Shane Stant to carry out the horrific act for $6500. Harding's main competitor was Kerrigan. What happened next was a media storm unlike any other in Olympic history.
For all the backstory into the attack and how it unfolded, read this tremendous piece from Bleacher Report on the 20-year anniversary of the incident.
Fortunately, Kerrigan was able to heal in time and was given a spot on the Olympic team with Harding. Seven weeks after the attack, Kerrigan skated brilliantly and won the silver medal in the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, while Harding placed 8th and failed to medal.
Recently, Kerrigan spoke out about the incident to People. Their lives took very different paths after that year. Harding even became a boxer and set a automobile land speed record. Kerrigan has authored a book on skating and has appeared on the ice in celebrity skating events and even on Broadway for a musical. To this day Harding still maintains she was innocent of any involvement.
It's a sad day in the history of sports, but one that will be still talked about for years to come.