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"Skating is a joy. It's a solitary sport, one in which you claim all the rewards as your own. Nobody makes you do it. It's just you."

— Bonnie Blair

Speed skins, 1992
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Blair wore these speed skins in the 1992 Olympics. The Lycra body suit, made by Mizuno, is designed to let air flow past the body more quickly.

— Gift of Bonnie Blair

Bonnie Blair
Six-time Winter Olympic Medal Winner

Bonnie Blair thrilled the world with her speed and captured more Winter Olympic medals than any woman in American Olympic history. Blair entered her first competition at age four and qualified for the Illinois State Championship by age seven. Soon, she was taken with Olympic dreams.

Women's speed skating was first included in the 1932 Lake Placid Games, eight years after the men's events were introduced. In 1984, during Blair's Olympic debut in Sarajevo, she placed eighth out of a tough field. Undaunted, Blair returned to the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, striking gold in the 500 meters and earning a bronze medal in the 1,000 meters. In the 1992 Albertville Olympics, Blair took the gold in both distances, a feat she would repeat two years later at the 1994 Lillehammer Games.

Name: Bonnie Kathleen Blair
Born: Cornwell, New York, 1964–
  • First woman to break 39-second barrier, 500-meter sprint, 1988
  • Gold Medalist, 500-meter sprint; Bronze Medalist, 100-meter sprint, Calgary Olympics, 1988
  • Gold Medalist, 500- and 1000-meter sprint, Albertville and Lillehammer Olympics, 1992, 1994
  • Only Olympian to win gold in same event in three consecutive Games, 1988, 1992, 1994
  • Gold Medalist, World Championships, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1995
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