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Bonnie Blair Biography
Bonnie Kathleen Blair (b. March 18, 1964 at Cornwall, New York)

Bonnie Blair was born in Cornwall, New York but was raised in Champaign, Illinois. After graduation from Centennial High School in Champaign, she moved to the Milwaukee-area to rain with the United States national speed skating team.

Blair appeared at her first Olympic games in Sarajevo in 1984. She failed to medal but it was clear she would become a force in the future.

At Calgary, Blair won the 500 meters and won a bronze in the 1000 meters. She would win again at Albertville in both the 500 and 1000 meters. This brought her medal total to three gold and a bronze.

Blair took advantage of a change of Olympic rules. In 1986, the International Olympic Committee voted to stage the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics alternating four year cycles. Thus, the next Winter Games would be held in February 1994 rather than in February 1996.

The 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer were a coronation of sorts for Blair. She again dominated the 500 meters and 1000 meters races. In the process she became the first American woman to win five gold medals.

During her career, Blair won several awards including the 1992 Sullivan Award and Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, along with Johann Olav Koss, in 1994. She also was Female Athlete of the Year as selected by the Associated Press in 1994.

In 2004, she was elected to the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Bonnie Blair.