Jansen skated 1988 Olympics for sister Jane
Feb. 14, 1988 - It was the worst day in Dan Jansen's life. In the morning, he spoke to his older sister Jane, who was dying of leukemia back home in West Allis, Wis. A few hours later, the speed skater learned of her death. He spent the afternoon in a quiet room at the Olympic athlete's village in Calgary speaking on the phone to family members.
He decided to compete in the 500 meters, saying "that's what Jane would've wanted." He wanted to win for Jane. But emotionally spent and physically tense, Jensen, one of the favorites, false-started at the line, which he rarely did. This confused him.
When he sprinted from the gun, he caught his blade on the first turn and fell, spinning across the lanes and knocking down the skater paired with him.
"As soon as he fell, my heart sank," said teammate Eric Hendriksen. "I'm not used to seeing so many bad things happen in a short period of time."
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