Get into the spirit of the Sochi Winter Olympics with these 12 indelible moments from Games past.
USA TODAY SportsGuy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
1948: Dick Button lands the first double axel
Eighteen-year-old American Richard "Dick" Button went down in history as first skater in history to complete a double axel in competition. The free skate secured Button the gold medal at the St. Moritz Games (he went on to win another in Oslo in 1952), and he remains the youngest male skater in history to take the top honor.
1968: Peggy Fleming becomes an icon
American Peggy Fleming's near-flawless gold-medal performance — one of the first Olympic television events broadcast in color, and the USA's only gold medal at the Grenoble games — transformed the 19-year-old into an American icon.
1980: Heiden makes history at Lake Placid
At the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, Eric Heiden set four Olympic records and one world record and won gold in all five men's speed skating races (the 500-, 1000-, 1,500-, 5,000- and 10,000-meters). The American remains the only skater to win all five races in a single Olympics.
1980: Miracle on Ice
Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, the US team stunned their heavily-favored Soviet opponents 4 to 3 in one of the most shocking upsets in sports history. In the now-famous words of broadcaster Al Michaels: "Do you believe in miracles? YES!" The US team would go on to beat Finland to win the gold medal.
Getty ImagesSteve Powell
1998: Hermann Maier overcomes huge crash
Regarded as one of the best alpine ski racers in history, Austria's Hermann Maier golden hopes took a dangerous turn when he veered off course and tumbled into a barrier of netting during the downhill race at the 1998 Nagano Games. Miraculously, Maier was able to walk away from the crash, and just a few days later, was back on the slopes to win gold in both the giant slalom and Super-G.
Getty ImagesShaun Botterill
1988: Battle of the Brians
An epic duel fought on the ice. American Brian Boitano (pictured) and Canadian Brian Orser — both world champions — went toepick to toepick at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Tied upon entering the free skate competition, Boitano landed eight triple jumps to grab the gold by the narrowest of margins.
AFP/Getty ImagesDANIEL JANIN
1988: Jamaica competes in bobsled competition
There was a lot of headscratching worldwise when the tropical island nation entered a bobsled crew at Calgary. But the highly inexperienced, resource-strapped team's resilience made the Jamaicans' one of the more memorable a showings during the 1988 Games. The team’s efforts were fictionalized in 1993's “Cool Runnings,” which starred John Candy and went on to gross over $154 million worldwide. The fact that the Jamaicans are sending another team to the Sochi games makes it no less remarkable (and also sets up the storyline for "Cool Runnings 2").
Getty ImagesMike Powell
1994: Dan Jansen finally strikes gold
Speed skater Jansen was favored to win both the 500- and 1,000-meter races at the 1988 Calgary Games, but he learned his sister had died of leukemia just hours before the competition and ended up falling in both of his events. It wasn't until Lillehammer in 1994 that Jansen won the 1000-meter and achieved Olympic glory.
Getty ImagesClive Brunskill
1994: The Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding saga
One of the most bizarre sports scandals of all time. On Jan. 6, 1994, an unknown assailant took a metal baton to American Kerrigan (right) at the the US Figure Skating Championships. The attack was later revealed to have been orchestrated by Harding's (left) ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. Kerrigan recovered from her injuries in time to compete in the 1994 Lillehammer Games, finishing second behind Russian Oksana Baiul. Harding finished eighth after falling during her routine.
AFP/Getty ImagesVINCENT ALMAVY
1998: US women take hockey gold
The Nagano Games marked the debut of women's hockey in the Winter Olympics, and the American women took gold after beating their Canadian rivals 3 to 1. It was the first hockey gold for the US since the "Miracle on Ice" team of 1980.
Getty ImagesB Bennett
2002: Figure skating's bad judgment call
Fans cried foul and Jamie Sale and David Pelletier of Canada (left) were visibly upset when the pairs' figure skating judges awarded Russians Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharudlize the gold medal (despite a noticeable flaw in their long program) during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. After the competition, a French judge admitted she had been coerced into voting for the Russians. As a result, Sale and Pelletier were eventually awarded gold medals as well, and the two pairs shared the Olympic title.
Getty ImagesRobert Laberge
2002: Ohno's Salt Lake City woes
Flashy American speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno was improperly blocked by South Korean skater Kim Dong-Sun during the 1500-meter race, leading to Kim's eventual disqualification. Ohno was awarded the gold medal for the event, but the South Koreans protested the decision (it was upheld by Olympics officials). Ohno was also disqualified from the 500 and fell during the 1000 meter, eventually winning silver, but his ebullient personality and unique facial hair still captivated the nation.