For better or worse, the Lillehammer games may be best evoked in most people's memories by two names. Tonya and Nancy. It was an ugly attack before the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on skater Nancy Kerrigan by cohorts of teammate and rival Tonya Harding that set up the most anticipated moment of the Games. Harding's goons were arrested following the Kerrigan clubbing and charged in a plot to improve Harding's chances of medaling by removing Kerrigan from competition. The plan failed and Kerrigan did compete, finishing with the silver medal. She actually tied 16-year-old Ukrainian orphan Oksana Baiul but missed the gold on the artistic merit tiebreaker. Harding, who had to threaten a lawsuit to avoid being barred from the Games by the USOC, ended up in eighth. The broadcast of the women's skating final was the sixth highest-rated program of any sort in U.S. television history.
There are so many more names symbolic of these games, however. Norway's Johann Olav Koss set three world records and won three golds in the men's 1500-, 5000- and 10,000-meter speed skating events. American speed skaters had success as well. Dan Jansen finally caught that elusive medal, winning the 1000-meter gold with a world record in his final event. Bonnie Blair won two golds in the women's 500- and 1000-meter races. And those were just the speed skaters.
The games were the most environmentally friendly Olympics in history as well. Norway's recycling and energy-saving techniques were so successful that the IOC revised its procedure for choosing host cities as a result.