World Record-holding Speed Skater
Bonnie Kathleen Blair was born on March 18, 1964, in New York. She is the youngest of 6 children. Bonnie's family was already dedicated to the sport of speed skating before she arrived, while Bonnie's mother was in the hospital to give birth to Bonnie, her dad was taking the older children to a competition. She developed a passion for speed skating at a young age. After graduating from high school, Blair joined the national speed skating team. She made a promising show at her first Olympic Games in 1984 at the age of 19. She finished 8th in the 500-meter speed skating event.
Bonnie's Accomplishments and Impact
Because Bonnie was only 5'5 and 130 lbs she was at a disadvantage when it came to speed skating. She had to make sure her technique was flawless and she needed the drive to win. Blair began to succeed on the international level of speed skating. In 1987, she won the World Cup in both the 500 and 1000 meter races. During the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, Blair was regarded as one of the hopes for the future of American speed skating. She won a gold medal in the 500 meters and a bronze in the 1000 meters. During her gold medal win, she also set a world record with a time of 39.1 seconds. Blair was the only American to win two medals at those games and she was given the honor of carrying the American flag at the closing ceremonies. After the Olympics, Blair continued her education in physical education. In 1989 she won the World Sprint Championship. However, she lost focus for a while after the death of her father in 1989. She stopped training as a skater for a short time and spent four months training as a cyclist.
Bonnie Blair Wins Gold By Record Distance - Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics