Host City: Lillehammer, Norway
Venue(s): Olympic Amphitheatre, Hamar
Date Started: February 22, 1994
Date Finished: February 22, 1994
Format: Placements 1-8 based on final and B final. Deeper placements based on points earned in earlier rounds, and time in final round skated.
The top three countries at the 1993 World Championships - Canada, China and South Korea - all made it through to the final. The fourth country in Beijing, North Korea, had elected not to send a team to Norway, leaving a spot for the American team, which then promptly made the final. The Canadians led the race from the early laps, followed by China, with a large gap over Korea and the US. With 10 on the lap counter, [Christine Boudrias] slipped away coming out of a turn, and crashed into the boards. This left China with a seemingly insurmountable lead.
But South Korea, which had sent a team of girls between 13 and 18 years old, shifted gears and pulled closer, catching up with China with five laps left. At three laps from the end, 13-year-old [Kim Yun-Mi] took over the lead, and the Koreans never let go. The Koreans finished 0.08 seconds outside the World Record to win the gold, making Kim Yun-Mi the youngest ever female Olympic gold medallist. China finished as second, while the Canadians had recovered quickly enough to stay ahead of the US. China's joy over their silver medal lasted 45 minutes, when the referees announced the Chinese had been disqualified: One of the inactive Chinese skaters had caused a member of the American team to fall. The Canadians and Americans moved up one spot, earning the Americans a medal while they had not even been supposed to compete.