American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was deliberately struck on the lower right thigh by an assailant with a telescopic baton as she walked along a corridor at Cobo Arena (now part of the TCF Center Grand Riverview Ballroom) in Detroit, Michigan, on January 6th 1994.
The attack was planned by Jeff Gilloly, the ex-husband of fellow competitive figure skater Tonya Harding, along with Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt. They arranged for Shane Stant and his uncle, Derrick Smith, to injure the skater so as to improve Harding’s competition prospects by preventing Kerrigan from skating in the United States Figure Skating Championships and the Lillehammer Winter Olympics in 1994.
The injuries left Kerrigan unable to compete in the National Skating Championships, but she recovered in time to participate in Lillehammer, where she won a silver medal. Harding also competed at the Olympics, but was banned permanently from competitive figure skating afterwards, despite denying all knowledge of the planned attack. She later pleased guilty at trial to conspiring to hinder the prosecution of the perpetrators. The incident was dramatized in the 2017 film I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie and Sebastian Stan.