Family, friends, and fellow Olympic champions gathered at the Harley Davidson Museum Saturday night to pay tribute to West Allis native and Olympic Gold medalist Dan Jansen. Jansen, who won his only gold medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, tells me he’s grateful for the support.
“My family and friends, and the support of Milwaukee and the surrounding area has been amazing,” said Jansen.
The night was also an opportunity for Jansen to raise money for his foundation that supports finding a cure for leukemia. A disease that hit close to home in 1988 when his sister, Jane, lost her battle with leukemia while Jansen was competing in Calgary. Jansen says her battle put everything in perspective.
“Talk about an attitude to fight,” Jansen said, “it made my struggles seem like nothing…it’s the Olympics, but it’s not life and she taught me a lot about that.”
Joining the celebration were gold medalists from past Olympics:
Mike Eruzione (1980 Miracle on Ice captain), Jackie Joyner Kersee (1988 and 1992 heptathlon and long jump), Shannon Miller (1996 gymnastics), Bonnie Blair (1988,1992, and 1994 speed skating), Kristi Yamaguchi (1992 figure skating) and Eric Heiden (5 gold in 1980 for speed skating)