Jansen, Blair-Cruikshank inspired each other to Olympic gold

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Jansen, Blair-Cruikshank inspired each other to Olympic gold

By Lance Allan. CREATED Jan 27, 2014

Whenever Bonnie Blair-Cruikshank and Dan Jansen return to Milwaukee's Pettit National Ice Center, almost everyone knows them for what they did two decades ago in the 1994 Lillehamer Olympic Winter Games.

Blair finished her run of five individual gold medals, the most ever for a woman in the Winter Olympics since 1964.

Jansen concluded a run of six years of painful Olympic moments and disappointment with a final breakthrough to a gold medal.

"His race meant a lot to not just him and his family and our team," explained Blair-Cruikshank in an interview with TODAY'S TMJ4's Lance Allan.

"It was really a race that kind of touched the whole world."

"I knew it was my last shot," explained Jansen.

"I just had to...try to stop expecting and just go out and skate.  Part of it's from (Bonnie)...how is she doing this every time?  She's supposed to do it.  She does.  I'm supposed to do it.  It's not happening.  I tried to mentor her in a way before, and all of a sudden...maybe (I) need to take something from her."

"Then it was kind of like, ok, now I want to go...get to the rink, let's race," added Blair-Cruikshank.  "It made me more excited for my races."

Both are staying close to their sports and the Olympic Games.  Jansen will do color commentary for NBC at the Sochi Games.  Blair-Cruikshank will join the U.S. Closing Ceremony delegation.

Lance Allan

Lance Allan

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Lance Allan joined TODAY'S TMJ4 in 1996. He attended Rice Lake High School, UW - Barron County, and UW - Madison.