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Wide World of Sports Highlights -- 1990s
ABC Sports Online


1990

January 13
The Harlem Globetrotters visit Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

January 27
The men's and ladies' competition from the World Challenge of Champions in Moscow, featuring Brian Boitano skating in front of the Novodevichy Convent.

February 3
Bill Shoemaker ends his brilliant career with one final race at Santa Anita.

February 24
Mark Allen passes seven-time champion Dave Scott during the marathon to win his first Ironman Triathlon World Championship, shattering the course record. Paula Newby-Fraser dominated the women's race as well, destroying the course record. But the most moving story of the competition is that of Dick and Ricky Hoyt.

March 3
Same day coverage of the finish of the Trans-Antarctica Expedition from Mirnyy.

March 17
Susan Butcher wins her fourth Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

March 24
Tom Jager shatters the world record for the 50-meter freestyle in a head-to-head battle with Matt Biondi at the U.S. Spring Championships.

March 24
Brandy Johnson becomes only the fourth American woman in history to win a medal at the World Gymnastics Championships when she collects the silver in the vault. The star of the show is once again Svetlana Boginskaya.

March 31
Meldrick Taylor fights Julio Cesar Chavez for the WBC/IBF Junior Welterweight/Super Lightweight titles.

April 21
Eddy Planckaert wins the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic by less than a wheel over Steve Bauer.

May 5
Unbridled wins the Kentucky Derby for his trainer, Carl Nafzger, and his owner, Mrs. Francis Genter. This show provided one of Wide World's most vivid "thrill of victory" moments -- "I love you Mrs. Genter."

May 12
The U.S. International Diving Championships is won by 12-year-old Chinese star Fu Mingxia, who stands just 4-foot-6 and weighs 75 pounds.

July 21
Greg LeMond takes the lead from Claudio Chiappucci on the penultimate stage of the Tour de France, an individual time trial.

August 4
Kim Zmeskal wins the all-around at the USA-USSR Gymnastics Meet.

1991

January 19
Men's World Cup Downhill from Wengen is canceled after Gernot Reinstadler of Austria falls during a qualifying run and later dies from internal injuries. The U.S. Ski Team withdraws from the World Cup circuit due to the Gulf War.

January 26
World champion Svetlana Boginskaya is upset by teammate Tatiana Lisenko in the all-around at the World Cup Gymnastics Championships. The World Challenge of Champions feature 1984 Olympic Games gold medalists Torvill and Dean.

February 2
The Harlem Globetrotters from Disney MGM Studios in Orlando. Hosted by Jim Valvano, with a special guest appearance by Miss Piggy. Plus, a replay of Whitney Houston singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV. And an interview with quarterback Todd Marinovich after he is suspended from USC football team due to drugs and declares himself eligible for the NFL Draft.

February 16
Tonya Harding becomes the first American woman to complete a triple Axel jump in competition and upsets Kristi Yamaguchi to win the ladies' title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis. This is the first U.S. nationals to be held since the elimination of compulsory figures. Feature on Nancy Kerrigan and her mother Brenda, who is legally blind.

March 2
Riddick Bowe versus Tyrell Biggs. WWOS is there as Bowe begins his rise to prominence in professional boxing.

March 16
Rick Swenson carries on through a blizzard to win his record fifth Iditarod Trail Sled Dog

April 13
Tonya Harding performs a triple Axel in her exhibition performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Mark Spitz begins his very public comeback to competitive swimming with a spot on the 1992 Olympic team as his goal. In this 50-meter butterfly match race, he is soundly beaten by Tom Jager.

April 27
Mark Spitz meets Matt Biondi in another 50-meter butterfly match race. Biondi wins, but Spitz finishes closer to Biondi than he did to Jager.

May 4
Trainer Nick Zito's joy is captured in the owner's box after his horse, Strike the Gold, makes a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the Kentucky Derby. Jim McKay talks to Bill Shoemaker about his recovery from an auto accident.

June 1
Mike Tyson scores a TKO of Razor Ruddock in a heavyweight fight, taped on March 18th. Referee Richard Steele stops the fight in a controversial decision in Round 7. Tyson and Ruddock hug before a fight between their respective corners breaks out.

June 8
More than 51,000 horse racing fans watch as Preakness winner Hansel comes from behind to prevail by a head over Derby winner Strike the Gold in the Belmont Stakes. Hansel's victories in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes ignite a campaign that would culminate with the award of 3-year old champion.

July 13
The International Olympic Committee lifts its ban prohibiting South Africa from competing in the Olympics. WWOS features U.S. javelin thrower Tom Petranoff, who was banned by U.S. track officials from world-wide competition for having competed in South Africa in violation of the international sports boycott. Petranoff talks about his relocation to South Africa and his desire to compete for his new country in the Olympics.

August 10
ABC strikes a deal with the U.S. Treasury Department and obtains the exclusive rights to televise the Cuban hosted Pan American Games. The telecast features over 20 hours of comprehensive coverage and a rare look inside Cuba. The highlight of the trip is an ABC WWOS exclusive interview, conducted by Jim McKay, with one of the extraordinary figures of our time, Fidel Castro.

1992

February 1
A special report on Mike Tyson's trial and conviction of rape.

February 29
Kim Zmeskal becomes the first American to win the women's all-around title at the World Championships. WWOS mikes her mother, Clarice, for Kim's floor exercise program.

March 14
The pairs figure skating team of Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov earn six perfect 6.0s for artistic impression to win the World Challenge of Champions.

April 4
An up close and personal look at Bill Shoemaker, one year after a car accident left him paralyzed. A.P. Indy wins the Santa Anita Derby and Belmont Stakes (on June 6) on Wide World. Those wins would propel him to Horse of the Year honors.

April 11
Jim McKay talks with Arthur Ashe about his battle with AIDS.

May 2
Long shot Lil E. Tee puts in a terrific stretch run to win the Kentucky Derby over Casual Lies. Favorite Arazi generates tremendous pre-race media commotion, while rap star Hammer brings Hollywood glitz to the sport as co-owner of Dance Floor.

July 4
Jim McKay reports on Sarajevo, eight years after the 1984 Winter Olympics.

July - August
WWOS cameras follow Dick and Rick Hoyt as they bike across the country. The father and son team begin their trip in Santa Monica, Calif. and end it in Boston.

August 29
The Philippines defeats Long Beach, Calif. 13-4 at the Little League World Series. Vice President Dan Quayle throws out the first ball. The winning team is later stripped of its crown when L.L. officials discover that the team from the Philippines violated L.L. age and geographic rules.

1993

January 6
As South Central Los Angeles is in the midst of rebuilding from the riots, WWOS orchestrates a roundtable discussion with gang members at Crenshaw Senior High School.

January 16
WWOS debuts a new series about athletes living on the edge and expanding the horizons of sport, with a feature on Extreme Skiing.

January 23
Scott Davis and Nancy Kerrigan win their first senior national titles at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Renee Roca and Russian-born Gorsha Sur regain their amateur status and win their first U.S. national title together.

January 30
Nancy Kerrigan, wearing her trademark white dress from the Albertville Olympics, skates an exhibition performance to The Lord's Prayer.

February 13
Bad weather plays havoc with the World Alpine Skiing Championships. American Erik Schlopy suffers a terrifying crash in downhill training that results in a fractured sternum and two compressed vertebrae. Plus, a tribute to Arthur Ashe, who died of complications from AIDS.

March 6
Riddick Bowe knocks out Evander Holyfield in the 11th-round of their fight from Las Vegas. Round 10 is perhaps the greatest round in boxing history. Plus, Wide World of Sports for Kids makes its debut, with "The Great Alaska Sled Dog Race," a show on the Iditarod sled dog race, from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.

March 20
1992 Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie defeats 1988 Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano for the first time in his professional skating career at the DuraSoft Colors World Challenge of Champions.

April 3
Coverage of the Santa Anita Derby is overshadowed by one of the most unusual turn of events in the history of horse racing at the Grand National steeplechase in Aintree, England. Animal rights protestors create confusion and havoc at the start of the race. The field false starts twice and organizers are forced to call off the race for the first time in its 164 year history when half of the field fails to heed the second false start and races on.

April 10
WWOS broadcasts the first-ever World Winter Games (Special Olympics) from Austria.

April 24
Shannon Miller becomes only the second American to win the Women's All-Around Title at the World Gymnastics Championships. It all comes down to the vault, where Miller lands two solid vaults. Her teammate, Dominique Dawes sticks her first vault, but falls on her second. Dawes finishes fourth in the all-around.

May 1
Sea Hero wins the 119th running of the Kentucky Derby. It was an historic afternoon for 85-year old owner Paul Mellon, 71-year old trainer MacKenzie Miller and 35-year old jockey Jerry Bailey, none of whom had ever been to the winner's circle at the Derby.

May 15
Prairie Bayou's victory in the Preakness Stakes is marred by the breakdown of D. Wayne Lukas' horse, Union City.

May 22
A retrospective show which features the top 10 elements of WWOS (1961-present). Viewers voted through USA Today for their favorite shows, including A.J. Foyt and the '67 Indy 500, Muhammad Ali and appearances by the Harlem Globetrotters.

June 5
Julie Krone is the first woman jockey to win a Triple Crown race as Colonial Affair captures the Belmont Stakes. Sea Hero wins the $1 million Chrysler Bonus. Prairie Bayou, who threw jockey Mike Smith, is destroyed due to an injury after the race.

August 21
Gail Devers becomes the first woman in 45 years to win both the 100-meter and 100-meter hurdle titles at the World Track and Field Championships. The U.S. men's team sweeps the relays (4x100, 4x400) and ties their own world record in the 4x100 (set in Barcelona in '92) and sets a new WR in the 4x400. In all, five WRs fall in Stuttgart.

August 21
Sea Hero emerges victorious at the Travers Stakes. In the aftermath of Prairie Bayou, WWOS examines the advances in horse surgery.

August 28
Long Beach, Calif. defeats Panama 3-2 for their second consecutive title, a feat no other team in U.S. history had ever accomplished. Jeremy Hess wins the game for Long Beach on a pinch-hit RBI, with two outs and the bases loaded, in the bottom of the sixth inning. Maria Sansone, at 12-years of age, becomes the youngest network sports announcer when she covers the LLWS.

1994

January 6, 8, 15, 29 and February 5
WWOS begins its 34th season with a new host, Julie Moran, from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. The entire event is overshadowed by the attack on reigning national champion, Nancy Kerrigan, at a practice rink. WWOS correspondents report on the story as it unfolds with exclusive interviews with Kerrigan and they examine Tonya Harding's role in the attack as it comes into question.

January 22
WWOS debuts a joint venture with Sports Illustrated TV's "From the Pages of Sports Illustrated" with a feature on Archie Manning's son Peyton.

January 29
WWOS debuts its series of features leading up to the 1994 World Cup of soccer, with Jim McKay as host.

January 29
WWOS debuts its WWOS for Kids show, with a repeat telecast of "The Great Alaskan Sled Dog Race." On Feb. 12, "Kids on Ice - A Skating Adventure!" takes a closer look at one young skater's road to the U.S. junior national championships. On June 11, "A day at the Races," host Maria Sansone offers a behind the scenes look at horse racing.

April 2
In a throwback to the early years, two events return to WWOS after long hiatuses: from Planica, Slovenia the World Ski Flying Championships and from Silver Springs, Fla., the World High Diving Championships.

April 9, May 21, June 11 and August 20
WWOS tracks the recovery and grueling rehabilitation process undertaken by Jeff Lukas, who was severely injured by thoroughbred race horse Tabasco Cat. The horse is trained by his father, D. Wayne Lukas. Tabasco Cat goes on to win the Preakness (5/21) and Belmont Stakes (6/11) and finishes second at the Santa Anita Derby.

April 23
Shannon Miller becomes the first American to win consecutive All-Around titles at the World Gymnastics Championships. Mo Huilan of China completes the first ever Gaylord on the uneven bars.

May 7
WWOS debuts the Cable Cam at the 120th Kentucky Derby. This innovative camera is suspended from a cable in the infield of the track and is able to follow the progress of the horses on the backstretch at speeds of up to 35 mph. Trainer Nick Zito urges on his horse, Go For Gin, down the homestretch by shouting until he loses his voice, "Run for the roses as fast as you can. I love you God. I love you America. I love my kids. I love everybody. God Bless America."

May 14
Feature on the figure skating pairs team of Paul Martini and Barbara Underhill. One of Underhill's twins recently drowned in the family pool. They dedicate their performance at the Durasoft Colors World Challenge of Champions to her child.

July - August
ABC devotes more than 17 hours of comprehensive weekend coverage of the Third Goodwill Games from St. Petersburg Russia.

August 13
Day two of the Major League Baseball Strike. Al Michaels moderates a panel discussion from Los Angeles, with L.A. Dodgers Player Representative Brett Butler, Sport Illustrated Editor-at-Large Steve Wulf in New York and Peter Angelos, principal owner of the Baltimore Orioles in Maryland.

August 20
Al Michaels talks with Bud Selig, acting commissioner of Major League Baseball on Day nine of the Major League Baseball Strike. In the thoroughbred "Race of the Year," Holy Bull wins the Travers Stakes, holding off a stretch-long challenge from Concern and in the process answers the Horse of the Year question. More than 10 lengths behind Holy Bull is Preakness and Belmont winner Tabasco Cat.

August 27
Maracaibo, Venezuela wins Latin America's first Little League World Series Championship since 1958 with a 4-3 victory over Northridge, Calif.'s "Earthquake Kids". A three-hour rain delay forces WWOS to go off the air on many affiliates before the game can be completed. The West Coast sees the remainder of the game live from Williamsport, Pa.

1995

January 21
Al Unser Jr. is named WWOS Athlete of the Year after dominating the Indy car circuit with eight victories, including a second Indy 500.

January 28
Julie Moran hosts WWOS from "The NFL Experience" at Joe Robbie Stadium, site of Super Bowl XXIX. Bob Beattie reports on the cancellation of the World Alpine Ski Champs, due to lack of snow, for the first time since the event's inception in 1931. WWOS had planned extensive coverage beginning Feb. 4. Going into the Worlds, U.S. downhillers Picabo Street and Hillary Lindh had won four of the five downhills of the season and Italy's Alberto Tomba led the Overall World Cup standings and had won seven of seven Slalom and three of five Giant Slalom races.

February 11
Richard Callaghan becomes the first coach since 1950 to train the men's and ladies national champions when Todd Eldredge and Nicole Bobek win at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Eldredge's win makes him the first man in U.S. history to return to the medal platform after a three-year absence, while Bobek upset much heralded 14-year-old Michelle Kwan. The Ladies' event airs live in prime time and ABC captures Bobek's surprised reaction backstage when she realizes she has won.

February 18
Renée Roca and Gorsha Sur defeat Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow for the U.S. Ice Dance title. Punsalan and Swallow admit in an exclusive ABC interview that, in '94, they lobbied Congress to not grant Sur, a native Russian, U.S. citizenship, so that they could represent the U.S. at the '94 Olympics.

February 18
Picabo Street win's her third, of what would be a U.S.-record five downhills in a row. By season's end she would become the first American ever to win the World Cup Downhill title.

February 25
Bonnie Blair wins her third World Sprint Speedskating championship in her final event on U.S. ice as 300-plus members of the "Blair Bunch" serenade and cheer her on. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Olav Koss makes his television commentating debut on ABC and interviews fellow Lillehammer gold medalist Dan Jansen.

March 4
Americans Nikki Stone and Trace Worthington win the aerials events at the World Freestyle Skiing Champs. Worthington, with a win in the combined, becomes the first skier in history to win two golds at a freestyle worlds.

March 11
Thunder Gulch wins his first of four races on WWOS in '95 when he defeats Suave Prospect by a nose to give Mike Smith his second straight Florida Derby. Thunder Gulch goes on to win the Kentucky Derby, Belmont and Travers Stakes. On this day, Jerry Bailey rides 10 horses and reaches the winner's circle seven times; if not for losing by a nose in the Florida Derby, he would have won eight straight races; his six straight wins are a Gulfstream Park record.

March 18
Nadia Comaneci returns to Romania for the first time since her 1989 defection. WWOS details her brilliant career.

  • Segment 1: '75 Europeans, '76 UCAP, '76 Olympics
  • Segment 2: Nadia 'pawn' of the Romanian government, suicide attempt, '78 Worlds, Nadia out of shape, parents divorce
  • Segment 3: Comeback '79, '80, Bela defects, '84 Olympics, relationship with Nicu Ceasescu - Romanian dictator's son
  • Segment 4: Defection and it's effect on her family in Romania, President Ceaucescu executed, Communism toppled
  • Segment 5: Arrival at JFK with Panait, the roofer, A. Stefu in Montreal, Bart Conner, "Magic and Mystery"
  • Segment 6: '95 Team Worlds, Nadia returns to Romania, reunited with mother
  • Segment 7: Reunited with father and step-mother, visits her old school in Deva, reunion with '76 teammates
  • Segment 8: Nadia's first gymnastics performance in Romania in 10 years
  • Segment 9: Nadia's speech in Romanian, "a stone is lifted from my heart"

    May 6
    Thunder Gulch wins the Kentucky Derby, from the No. 16 post, over his more heralded stablemates Timber Country and Serena's Song.

    May 28
    Jacques Villeneuve becomes the first Canadian to win the Indy 500, after his countryman Scott Goodyear is penalized in the closing stages for passing the pace car during a caution period.

    June 10
    At the Belmont Stakes, D. Wayne Lukas is forced to scratch Preakness champion Timber Country due to fever. But when Kentucky Derby victor Thunder Gulch wins the Belmont, Lukas becomes the first trainer in history to lead two different horses to all three Triple Crown titles in one season.

    June 24
    The cross-country events at the World Mountain Bike Champions feature some of the best bail-outs on WWOS, since Vinko Bogataj's 'agony of defeat.'

    July
    Miguel Indurain's record fifth straight Tour de France victory is saddened by the third death in the race's history. Italy's Fabio Casartelli dies in the 15th stage in a crash on a descent in the Pyrénées. Indurain would go on to be named WW's 1995 Athlete of the Year.

    July 8
    During an appearance at the Special Olympic World Games, Monica Seles announces she will return to pro tennis in a comeback after she was stabbed by a fan in 1993.

    July 22
    Mike Tyson retrospective: one month before his return to the ring.

    August 5,6,12 & 13
    Four world records fall at the World Track and Field Championships, including the triple jump when Jonathan Edwards twice breaks the 60-foot barrier. Michael Johnson becomes the first man to win the 200 and 400 at the Worlds. Gwen Torrence wins the 100 and 200, or so it seems, until she learns during an ABC interview that she has been disqualified in the 200 for running out of her lane. Cuba's Anna Quirot wins the 800 three years after surviving a deadly fire. Ruth Wysocki, flown in as an 11th-hour replacement the day before the heats, overcomes jetlag to place seventh in the 1500 finals.

    1996

    January 20
    Rudy Galindo defeats Todd Eldredge, the reigning world silver medalist, to win the men's title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in his hometown of San Jose, Calif. Third after the short program, Galindo is the final skater to take the ice in the free skate. He hits eight triple jumps to win the free skate. At the age of 26, he becomes the oldest men's champion in 70 years. San Jose was Galindo's eighth appearance in a senior nationals.

    February 27
    Sixteen-year old Irina Slutskaya upsets Surya Bonaly, the five-time and reigning European Ladies' champion, to win the European Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Slutskaya, second at the '96 Russian nationals, becomes the first Russian (or Soviet) to win a major international ladies' figure skating title (Worlds, Europeans or Olympics).

    February 17
    (Agony of Defeat) Tatiana Lebedeva a 22-year old Russian skier, collides with Harold Shownower, a former U.S. Ski Team coach and FIS official, while training for the women's downhill at the World Alpine Skiing Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. Lebedeva catches air off a bump and when she comes back to the ground, Shownower had mistakenly skied onto the course and right into her path. Both suffered fractured legs and were airlifted off the mountain.

    February 24 and March 2
    Alberto Tomba, the three-time Olympic gold medalist from Italy, ends a decade of frustration at the World Alpine Skiing Championships by winning two gold medals. On Feb. 24th, he wins the first run of the Giant Slalom, but halfway down the second run he loses his edge and slides onto his right hip. Tomba quickly found his feet, made one of the great recoveries in ski racing history and goes on to win his first-ever world championship title. Two days later, he comes from .81 behind and sixth place after the first run to win the Slalom title.

    March 2
    Christine Witty becomes the women's champion at the 27th World Sprint Speed Skating Championships. Three-time and reigning World Sprint Champion Bonnie Blair makes her network commentating debut.

    March 21 and 23
    The World Figure Skating Championships live from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Three-time U.S. champion Todd Eldredge wins his first world championship, while the newest U.S. champion, Rudy Galindo, earns the bronze. On the afternoon of March 23, WWOS featured taped coverage of the ladies' short program and the unsuccessful comeback of former world champion Midori Ito to the amateur ranks. That evening, WWOS provided live coverage of Michelle Kwan's first world championship.

    May 4
    The Triple Crown begins with the Kentucky Derby, where Grindstone edges Cavonnier by a nose in the closest Derby finish since 1959. Unbridled's Song, the favorite, cannot overcome a crack in his left front heel that forced him to run in bar shoes. Shortly after his Derby win, Grindstone is retired to stud due to a bone chip in his right front leg.

    May 18
    Louis Quatorze goes wire-to-wire to win the Preakness Stakes and ends trainer D. Wayne Lukas' streak of six straight Triple Crown victories.

    May 26
    Buddy Lazier overcomes injuries suffered two months earlier in a crash, plus a bitter political split in the sport of auto racing, to win the Indy 500. Most of the top Indy Car stars boycotted the 80th running of the race for the inaugural U.S. 500 in Brooklyn, Mich.

    June 8
    At the Belmont Stakes, D. Wayne Lukas returns to the winner's circle with Editor's Note to win his seventh of eight Triple Crown races. Cavonnier, the Kentucky Derby runner-up and the Belmont favorite, sustains a bowed tendon in his right front leg in the home stretch and would be retired to stud.

    June 15
    In one of the most bizarre occurrences on WWOS, road racing analyst Marty Liquori jumps from the lead car of the Advil Mini-marathon to stop a spectator from harassing and running alongside eventual winner Tegla Loroupe. Liquori's linebacker move occurs less than a minute from the finish line in Central Park. Plus, former Soviet star Svetlana Boguinskaya, now competing for Belarus, makes her comeback to the international scene by placing second in the all-around at the European Women's Gymnastics Championships.

    June 29, July 6 & 13
    Bjarne Riis hands Denmark its first Tour de France triumph and will be remembered as the man who ended the reign of 5-time consecutive time winner Miguel Indurain, who finished 11th.

    September 23
    The first U.S. women's gymnastics team to win the Olympic team gold medal -- including WWOS stars Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu and Dominique Dawes -- star in the Tour of Olympic Gymnastics Champions. The show airs in prime time and leads into Monday Night Football.

    1997

    January 11
    National figure skating champion Rudy Galindo wins his first professional title at the Nutrasweet World Challenge of Champions in Innsbruck.

    January 25 & February 1
    Russia sweeps all four events at the European Figure Skating Championships in Paris, a feat unprecedented by any other nation since ice dancing was added to the championships in 1954. The winners: Irina Slutskaya, Alexei Urmanov, Oksana Grischuk and Yevgeny Platov, and ice dancers Marina Eltsova & Andrei Bushkov.

    February 1
    The Olympics of extreme sports, the Winter "X Games," features snowboarding and mountain biking on snow in its Wide World debut. The Summer "X Games" premiere with skysurfing, street luge, and bike stunts on the June 21, 1997 Wide World from San Diego.

    February 15 & 16
    Fourteen-year-old Tara Lipinski becomes the youngest U.S. figure skating champion in history by upsetting the reigning national and world champion Michelle Kwan. Also in Nashville, World Champion Todd Eldredge wins his fourth national title.

    March 20 & 22
    The World Figure Skating championships are beset by sadness when Nicole Bobek's coach, Carlo Fassi (who had also coached Olympic gold-medalists Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, John Curry and Robin Cousins), dies of a massive heart attack in Lausanne. The death came shortly after four-time world champion Scott Hamilton has to undergo chemotherapy for testicular cancer, which had spread to his lower abdomen. In the event, Tara Lipinski, 14, becomes the youngest World Figure Skating Champion in history. Canada's Elvis Stojko wins the men's title with a quadruple toe loop-triple toe combination, plus seven other triples.

    April 19
    Wide World airs network television's first women's professional boxing match. Former kickboxer Yvonne Trevino wins the WIBF Superflyweight championship live from Las Vegas in a first-round TKO over Brenda Rouse. Incidentally, Rouse's trainer is the HIV-positive former heavyweight champ Tommy Morrison.

    May 3
    At the 123rd Kentucky Derby, Silver Charm beats Captain Bodgit by a head -- providing not only drama, but redemption for trainer Bob Baffert, who thought he'd won a year before with Cavonnier until a photo finish showed Grindstone ahead by a nose. Bodgit's defeat was the 18th straight loss by a pre-Derby favorite. Also, Bodgit jockey Alex Solis wears the Derby's first "jockeycam." The 19-ounce device was also used during Bodgit's Wood Memorial win on April 12th, but rain/mud obscured the view.

    May 17
    The Triple Crown shapes up into a three-way rivalry as the top 3 Derby finishers finish 1-3-2 in the Preakness Stakes. This time, Silver Charm beats Free House by a head. Notably, Touch Gold finishes an impressive fourth after falling on his face out of the start gate.

    May 25
    Arie Luyendyk becomes the seventh man to win the Indy 500 twice, but perhaps the first to do it on a Tuesday. Repeated rain delays fracture this Sunday-starting event.

    June 7
    Only the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes separate Silver Charm from the first Triple Crown victory since 1978, but Captain Bodgit -- out with a leg injury -- isn't there to push him. Instead, Touch Gold and jockey Chris McCarron steal horse racing's third jewel. Silver Charm is the runner-up. Free House places third.

    August 23
    Guadalupe, Mexico wins its first Little League World Series since 1958 by beating Mission Viejo, Calif. 5-4 in an unbelievable final inning. California's Gavin Fabian -- trying for the first no-hitter in a championship game since 1979 -- begins the sixth with a 4-1 lead. After walking two batters, manager Jim Gattis replaces him with Adam Sorgi. Sorgi throws two strikes before Gabriel Alvarez launches a game-tying three-run homer. Later, Javier de Isla walks and scores on Pablo Torres' single and centerfielder Ashton White's error for the winning run. Note: Sorgi's sister Erica is a U.S. diving champ, Jim Gattis played in the minors, and White's dad is 1979 Heisman Trophy winner Charles White.

    1998

    January 8
    Todd Eldredge wins his fifth U.S. Figure Skating Championship in Philadelphia and a live national audience, placing him second all-time behind Dick Button's seven titles. Eldredge led after the short program and was a shoo-in to make the Olympic team. Instead of sitting on his lead, Eldredge tried to build on it in the free skate, attempting a quad in competition for the first time. He completed four rotations but fell on his landing. When Michael Weiss two-footed the landing of a quad Lutz in the free skate, Eldredge won the national title and a berth on his second Olympic team. Weiss finished second, making his first Olympic squad.

    January 10
    With the opening ceremony of the Olympics less than a month away, the rivarly between Michelle Kwan (1996 U.S. and World Figure Skating Champion) and Tara Lipinski (1997 U.S. and World Figure Skating Champion) heats up on the ice in Philadelphia. Both would make the team, but the winner at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships would be the odds-on favorite for gold in Nagano. Skating with a stress fracture on the second toe of her left foot, Kwan earned a total of 15 perfect 6.0s for presentation (7 in the short program and 8 in the free skate). Lipinski finished second on her way to winning the Olympic gold medal. Kwan would win silver at the Olympics.

    January 17
    The Winter X Games from Crested Butte, Colo. features snowboarding, snow mountain bike racing and, for the first time in 30 years, snowmobiling returns to Wide World of Sports and network television. The Summer X Games from San Diego, Calif. return with skateboarding, skysurfing, street luge, bike stunts, snowboarding, wakeboarding and barefoot jumping on shows on June 20, June 27 and July 4, 1998.

    March 15
    Major League Soccer makes its network television debut. Tony Sanneh and D.C. United welcomed the Miami Fusion to Major League Soccer with a 2-0 victory over the expansion team before a sellout crowd of 20,450 at Lockhart Stadium. Sanneh scored one goal for United and assisted on the other, as the two-time defending champions won the opening game of MLS' third season.

    March 28
    Same-day coverage of CART's first-ever foray to Japan for the Budweiser 500. Mexico's Adrian Fernandez holds off Al Unser Jr. to win the second race of his CART career.

    April 2
    Competing in his final world championships before a live national audience, Todd Eldredge He won the free skate and captured the silver medal, the fifth world medal of his career at the Target Center in Minneapolis. He had been fourth after the short program after he put his hand down on a triple axel. In the free skate, Eldredge tried a quad, but caught the landing wrong and fell. As Eldredge wore a smile on the medal podium, tears streamed down the face of the winner, 18-year-old Alexei Yagudin of Russia. After his mistake-filled long program, Yagudin, winner of the short program, could have surrendered the title to Eldredge had 15-year-old Evgeni Plushenko -- Yagudin's training partner in St. Petersburg, Russia -- beaten him in the free skate. But Plushenko fell three times and settled for the bronze.

    April 4
    Michelle Kwan won her second world championship in three years despite falling on a double Axel and failing to complete three rotations on a Salchow. But six other triple jumps and the elegant, ethereal air of her program won her the world title. Russia's Irina Slutskaya won the silver, and teammate Maria Butyrskaya took the bronze. Tonia Kwiatkowski of the U.S. finished in sixth place with a sterling performance in her final world championships. Kwan, who earned one 6.0 for required elements and became the first skater since Midori Ito in 1989 to earn a 6.0 score in the short program at a world championship, won at a world championships devoid of gold medalists from the Nagano Olympics.

    April 26
    Bobby Labonte ousted older brother Terry Labonte from the lead with two laps remaining in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series DieHard 500 and then blocked all challengers to claim his first-ever victory at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala.

    May 2
    Trainer Bob Baffert won the 124th running of the Kentucky Derby, his second straight triumph at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. But it wasn't with his other horse, favorite Indian Charlie. Real Quiet, with Kent Desormeaux aboard, grabbed the lead on the backstretch and held off Victory Gallop at the finish for the win. It was just the third win in 13 starts for Real Quiet. Indian Charlie, who was 4-0 entering the race, finished third.

    May 16
    In the Preakness Stakes, Real Quiet outraced Victory Gallop once again and gave trainer Bob Baffert his second straight shot at a Triple Crown with a win at the Belmont Stakes. Classic Cat finished third. Two fires broke out at Pimlico Race Course hours before the 123rd Preakness. The race and the telecast went off without a hitch, but the betting handle was off 20 percent from Preakness Day in 1997.

    May 17
    In its new update role, Wide World of Sports reports New York Yankees David Wells' perfect game. Wells tossed the 15th perfect game in baseball history against the Minnesota Twins on Beanie Baby Day at Yankee Stadium.

    May 24
    Eddie Cheever Jr. defeats Buddy Lazier by 3.191 seconds to win the 82nd Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Cheever, from Tampa, Fla., took the lead for good on Lap 178 after beating Lazier out of the pits in the Rachel's Potato Chips Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear.

    June 6
    The horses completed the mile and a half at the 130th Belmont Stakes in 2 minutes and 29 seconds, but it took nearly six minutes to determine the winner. In the stretch, Real Quiet drifted out and bumped Victory Gallop. Jockey Gary Stevens, who lost the '97 Belmont aboard Triple Crown hopeful Silver Charm, told the outriders to put a "hold" on the race, and the stewards' inquiry sign flashed on the toteboard. After the delay, Stevens' horse Victory Gallop was declared the winner. Bob Baffert was denied the Triple Crown for the second year in a row.

    June 13
    World Cup soccer on ABC kicked off with a scoreless draw between Holland and Belgium. Eleven minutes from the end, Holland's striker Patrick Kluivert turned on Belgian defender Lorenzo Staelens and elbowed him in the chest. Kluivert was shown a red card and missed his team's second game against South Korea.

    June 21
    Before a loud, mostly pro-Iranian crowd of about 44,000 in Stade Gerland in Lyon, France, Iran eliminated the United States from the World Cup with a 2-1 victory. The pregame show featured a piece on U.S.-Iranian relations and included same-day video of crowds gathering to watch the soccer game in Iran.

    June 28
    True to its "spanning the globe" roots, Wide World of Sports covered the seventh Whitbread Round The World Race for the Volvo Trophy. The race took the winner 117 days and 31,600 nautical miles to complete. Olympic and America's Cup veteran Paul Cayard skippered EF Language to victory with Merit Cup taking second and Swedish Match in third place.

    July 12
    Host country France won its first World Cup championship, defeating Brazil 3-0 at the Stade de France in Saint Denis. Zinedine Zidane scored twice on headers -- his first goals of the tournament, a tournament he began by getting suspended for two games. By the time Emmanuel Petit made it 3-0 in the final seconds, the French festival had begun. Winners of all seven of their games, the French beat Brazil down a man for the last 22 minutes after defender Marcel Desailly was ejected for rough play.

    July 19
    The 127th Open Championship from Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England was won by Masters champion Mark O'Meara before a live national television audience. With the British Open win, the 41-year-old became the oldest golfer to win two majors in the same year. He defeated third-round leader Brian Watts in a four-hole playoff, and both Watts and O'Meara withstood a final round 66 from first-round co-leader Tiger Woods, who finished one stroke behind O'Meara and Watts.

    August 1
    Jeff Gordon became the first driver to win the Brickyard 400 twice and he also pocketed the largest single first-place payout in NASCAR history, a whopping $1,637,625. Gordon earned most of that because of another first. His victory made him the first driver to claim a $1 million bonus as part of the Winston No Bull 5 program. Gordon was one of five drivers eligible for the award because of his victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- the second of five events that make up the program. The top-five finishers from Charlotte were in line to claim the hefty bonus, and it would be paid to one -- if he could win the Brickyard 400.

    August 2
    Marco Pantani became the first Italian to win the Tour de France since 1965, the first climber since Lucien van Impe in 1976 and one of a handful of riders to have claimed the Tour and the Giro d'Italia double in the same year. He won the Tour ahead of defending champion -- and triple stage winner this year -- Jan Ullrich. Bobby Julich emerged to claim third thanks to his consistency in both the mountains and the time trials. Julich was the first American to make the podium since Greg LeMond won the Tour in 1990. Pantani's team showed its enthusiasm for their leader's jersey by dying their hair yellow overnight, with Pantani himself matching their efforts by turning the only hair on his head -- his famous goatee beard -- the same color as his jersey. The 85th Tour de France survived despite revelations of organized doping at the highest levels of the sport, two riders' strikes, the defection of six teams and the expulsion of the Festina team.

    Plus, the 1998 MLS All-Star Game makes its network television debut as Columbus Crew forward Brian McBride earned Most Valuable Player honors with one goal and two assists in the first half as the MLS USA All-Stars defeated MLS World 6-1 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

    August 23
    The Arena Football League made its network television debut with Arena Bowl XI as the Orlando Predators crushed the Tampa Bay Storm 62-31 at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Fla. Orlando had played in three previous Arena Bowls, losing each of them.

    August 29
    The 52nd Little League World Series Championship Game was one of the most exciting championship games in history as Toms River, N.J. defeats Kashima, Japan 12-9. Toms River, or the Beast of the East as the team and the team's gorilla mascot came to be known, was the first American team in five years to win the World Series. Eleven home runs were hit in the championship game, with two coming off the bat of Chris Cardone, a little-used player who came into the game as a pinch-hitter with one hit in 10 at-bats at the World Series. He followed his pinch-hit homer in the fifth inning with a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the sixth to break an 8-8 tie, and Toms River went on to the Series title. Todd Frazier, who also hit two home runs in the championship game, finished the Series with two pitching victories, four home runs and a .600 batting average.

    1999

    January 23
    David Duval sank a six-footer on the 90th hole for eagle and a 59 at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. It was only the third 59 ever recorded in PGA Tour history -- and the first on a final day of competition. Stewart Cink and Stuart Appleby both made holes-in-one on the 207-yard, 12th hole during the final round. Steve Pate had a chance to force a playoff on the par-5 18th hole, but he was unable to negotiate a 10-footer for birdie. John Huston finished third while Bob Estes and Fred Funk tied for fourth at 21-under.

    February 13
    Michelle Kwan won her third national title over newcomer Naomi Nari Nam, a 13-year-old from Irvine, Calif. at the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Angela Nikodinov placed third. Sarah Hughes of Great Neck, N.Y., also 13, came in fourth. In the men's competition, Michael Weiss became the first father since Roger Turner in 1934 to win the U.S. title. He defeated Trifun Zivanovic and Timothy Goebel. Danielle and Steve Hartsell won the pairs over Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman, while Naomi Lang and Peter Tchernyshev won over Eve Chalom and Mathew Gates in dance.

    March 20
    Mike Wallace, in his Ford Truck, wins ABC's first NASCAR Truck race, the Florida Dodge Dealers 400 NASCAR Truck Race. Wallace and Team ASE took home $52,125. Randy Tolsma's Dodge Truck took the pole with a track record of 149.813 mph.

    March 25
    Russia becomes the first country to sweep gold at the World Figure Skating Championships since Austria did it in 1925. In the Ladies, Russia won two of the three medals with Maria Butyrskaya placing first, over defending world champion Michelle Kwan. At 26, Butyrskaya was the oldest woman ever to win the World Championship. Yulia Soldatova was third. In the Men's, Alexei Yagudin won the gold over fellow Russian Evgeny Plushenko. American Michael Weiss came in third, earning his first World medal. In the Pairs, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze won their second straight world title over the Chinese couple Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao. Shen and Zhao earned Asia's first World pairs medal. Dorota Zagorzka and Mariusz Siudek from Poland won the bronze medal. Figure skating judges Alfred Korytek of Ukraine and Sviatoslav Babenko of Russia were suspended by the International Skating Union for misconduct during the pairs final. CTV submitted a tape that appeared to show the two judges exchanging information on the performances of the Chinese and Polish pairs, the silver and bronze medallists in the event. In the Dance, Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov won their second straight World gold medal over Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat from France.

    May 1
    Charismatic, ridden by Chris Antley, won the 125th Kentucky Derby after lying third behind Cat Thief and Wordly Manner with a quarter mile to go. The jockey and the horse gave trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, his third win of the 1990s. It was the fourth Derby victory overall for Lukas, who was voted into the Hall of Fame April 27th.

    May 15
    Charismatic won the Preakness Stakes, defeating Menifee and Badge, who finished second and third respectively. Charismatic became the fourth straight horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

    May 30
    Kenny Brack of Karlstad, Sweden won the 83rd Indianapolis 500, beating 32 other starters from the closest qualifying field in the event's history. His A.J. Foyt PowerTeam Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear crossed the finish line's yard of bricks 6.562-seconds ahead of Jeff Ward.

    June 5
    Lemon Drop Kid, ridden by Jose Santos, won the Belmont Stakes with Vision and Verse finishing second. Charismatic ended up third, but in this, his last race, he limped across the finish line after fracturing two bones in his left front leg. Charismatic was the 17th horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown without winning the Belmont Stakes.

    July 3
    The legendary skateboarder, Tony Hawk provided the defining moment of X Games V -- not to mention his career -- on one magical night when he executed the first '900' in skateboarding history.

    July 10
    Brandi Chastain converted a penalty kick past China's Gao Hong and took off her uniform jersey as the United States won the Women's World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The U.S. won in front of a record crowd for a women's sporting event in the United States (90,185 people) and the largest U.S. television audience to watch a soccer game. With a Briana Scurry save and five successful attempts, the U.S. won its second title, becoming the first host to win.

    July 17
    Scotland's Paul Lawrie won the 128th British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland in a four-hole playoff over Justin Leonard and Jean Van de Velde. Lawrie began the day 10 strokes behind Van de Velde, the third-round leader. Even after the day's best round of 67, Lawrie hit the clubhouse well behind the Frenchman. However, in the one of most bizarre scenes in golf history, Van de Velde took a three-stroke lead to the final hole only to collapse with a triple bogey-7.

    July 25
    Lance Armstrong, a 27-year-old cancer survivor and once the sport's boy wonder, captured cycling's biggest race, the 83rd Tour de France. Before Armstrong's victory, Dr. Scott Shapiro, who had performed brain surgery on Armstrong less than three years ago, had said, "If he holds on and wins, it will be the greatest medical sports comeback in the history of the 20th century." Armstrong did come back, and it was one of the greatest medical sports comebacks of the century.

    August 7
    On his way to his first NASCAR Winston Cup championship, Dale Jarrett won his second Brickyard 400. He led six times for 117 of the event's 160 laps, including the last 43 laps of the race. Jarrett, from Conover, N.C., beat Bobby Labonte to the finish line by 3.351 seconds, averaging 148.228 mph. Defending NASCAR Winston Cup and event champion Jeff Gordon finished third.

    August 28
    For the second year in a row, a team from Japan made it to the Little League World Series championship game. But this time the result was different. Osaka, Japan won 5-0 over Phenix City, Ala. in a game at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in which 42,000 spectators looked on. Japanese pitcher Kazuki Sumiyama held the South to only two hits.

    December 26
    A yearlong countdown of North America's 50 greatest athletes culminates as Michael Jordan is named the athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury's panel of experts. Babe Ruth, the century's second greatest athlete, is also featured in an hour special.

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