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Screams rang out at around 2:35 p.m. on Jan. 6, 1994, after Nancy Kerrigan's practice session at Detroit's Cobo Hall, which was right next to Joe Louis Arena, site of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
The tearful cries were coming from Nancy herself. The 24-year-old athlete, due to skate the following night in the ladies short program, had been on her way to the dressing room when a man approached, hit her several times on the right knee with what looked like a pipe or crowbar—"some hard, hard black stick," Kerrigan sobbed—and fled. "Help me!" she yelped.
Daniel Kerrigan, Nancy's father, picked up his crying daughter and carried her into the locker room, where she was examined and then taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays. Swelling in her bruised knee forced her to withdraw from the competition, but luckily nothing was broken.