Tony Hawk’s favourite: Dan Jansen’s Glory at Lillehammer 1994 | My Olympic Moment

Tony Hawk’s favourite: Dan Jansen’s Glory at Lillehammer 1994 | My Olympic Moment

(MY OLYMPIC MOMENT)The Winter Olympics, 1994.Daniel Jansen –all the hope, all the glory,
all the failed attempts,
and all the heartache he went
through to get there.
That was,
as far as I’m concerned,
a defining Olympic moment
of all time.
My name is Tony Hawk, and
this is My Olympic Moment.
(MY OLYMPIC MOMENT)Growing up, the Olympics was
the one sports event to watch
above all else, because
it had combined
so many different activities.It was the one time you could
represent your country.
For the sports that were
included in the Olympics,
it was, in a lot of ways,
the biggest deal.
Daniel Erwin Jansen
was born June 17th, 1965.
He was the youngest of
nine kids.
He was inspired by his sister
Jane to take up speed skating.
He was only 16 at
his first Olympic games,
and that was in 1984
at Sarajevo.
He ended up fourth in the 500m,
just out of medal contention.
He would have to wait
another four years
for another chance to compete
in the Olympics.
1988 Winter Olympics
in Calgary,
he was the favourite to win
the 500m and 1,000m.
His sister had been suffering
from leukaemia for a long time,
and in the morning of
the 500m race,
he found out that
she passed away.
His family encouraged him
to continue competing…
..and he ended up falling
on the very first turn.
So, four days later,
he competes in the 1,000m
and he’s going to beat
the world record,
and falls just at 800m.It’s another four years for him
to get back into the Olympics,
and compete in the ’92 games,the 1992 games
in Albertville, France.
He finished in fourth place
in the 500m,
and then 26th place
in the 1,000m,
so he left the games
without a medal again.
In 1994,
in Lillehammer, Norway,
he was there for his final
attempt at an Olympic medal.
It has to be his last shot,
because of his age.
It would be unparalleled
for him
to be in four Olympic games,
doing what he does.
In the first event, the 500m,he ends up in
a disappointing eighth place.
So, he has one race left,
one chance,
the very last event that
he could possibly medal in –
it’s the 1,000 m.It was all the hope,
all the glory,
all the heartache, and…..victory, finally.He finally wins his first event
ever, and gets a gold medal.
And he sets a new world record.I think that was
one of the best finishes
to any career, ever.(DANIEL JANSEN)He took a victory lap
with his daughter,
who he named after
his late sister, Jane.
Probably, in that moment,he was thankful for the failed
attempts, I would think,
because it meant
that much more to him.
Not just that he went
through all that,
but also that he got to
share it with his daughter,
I mean, I know the feeling.I’ve had some of my biggest
skate moments
with my kids watching,and I wouldn’t have wanted it
any other way.
Well, I was always inspired
by his perseverance.
When I was competing,there was a time
when I was leading the points
going into the final event.I mean, this is
through the year series,
and I could never pull it
together on the finals.
It wasn’t that I come up short,
like, “Oh, I almost won!”
It was like, no,
I fell, repeatedly,
and went way down in the ranks.So, I know that heartache,and I’m watching him persevere
through all these years,
over the course of eight years,and finally
pull it all together,
and after I’ve been doing this
for ten years,
I won the finals.It meant that much more,because I had failed
so many times prior to that.
Growing up, skating was
not in the Olympics.
Now, it’s in the Olympics,
and now I’m excited,
because I feel like
it’s going to add
a youthful vibe
to their Summer Games.
I think the world will be
pleasantly surprised
in terms of the amount of
attention it gets,
the positive feedback it gets,and how many kids
it inspires to start skating.
This Olympic moment
inspired me.

8 Replies to “Tony Hawk’s favourite: Dan Jansen’s Glory at Lillehammer 1994 | My Olympic Moment”

  1. That wouldn't have been enough for me. I would be so annoyed by the final result of just one Gold medal, that actually could be a lot. I would just be so angry. All my respect for this man.

  2. Wow! So much to look forward to with skating in the Olympics! Love the Dan Jansen story and would have never known how it could have inspired someone into skating without such a touching bit by the birdman!

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