Bonnie Kathleen Blair (born March 18, 1964) is a former Olympic speed skater. She attended Centennial High School, in Champaign, Illinois, where she was a member of the track team as well as a cheerleader and a member of the pep club. Blair got involved in skating as a small child and set her sights on the 1984 Olympics while in high school. She ended up receiving her diploma by mail since she was busy with speed skating training in Europe.
That first Olympic appearance in Sarajevo did not result in any medals – for Blair or for any other member of the speed skating team — but she was happy to be there. She soon established herself as both a short-track and long-track powerhouse and began winning World Cup awards. By 1987, Blair had obtained a spot on the U.S. Olympic speed skating team and was thought to be the most likely team member to win gold.
Blair went on to win medals in the 1988, 1992, and 1994 Winter Olympic games. She brought home three consecutive golds for the 500-meter event and took first place for 1000 meters in both 1992 and 1994, making her the first female Olympic athlete in the U.S. to win five gold medals.
Blair set more speed records after that final Olympic appearance before retiring in 1995. She is still one of the most decorated athletes in Winter Olympics history. She was one of the final bearers of the Olympic torch at the 2002 Winter Olympics and entered the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.