Whatever happened to: Bonnie Blair
Today, we update you on people and places from the recent past and decades ago. Here, Olympic speedskating champion Bonnie Blair.
"Champaign's favorite speeder" dominated women's skating like no other. Ever. Starting at the Calgary Games in 1988, the Centennial graduate won five Olympic speedskating gold medals during a six-year stretch. She took the 500 meters at Calgary and won the 500 and 1,000 at both Albertville and Lillehammer. Throw in her bronze in the 1,000 at Calgary and Blair won the most Winter Olympic medals in U.S. history. (She has since been passed by Anton Apolo Ohno). She won the Sullivan Award in 1992 and was named Sports Illustrated's Athlete of the Year.
Blair, who turns 50 on March 18, lives in Delafield, Wis., with her husband David Cruikshank, son Grant (15) and daughter Blair (13). Bonnie will be part of the U.S. delegation in Sochi, Russia. She is a motivational speaker and corporate spokesperson. She travels with her kids to sporting events. Grant is a high-level hockey player and Blair competes in gymnastics.
Blair says ...
"Each Olympics had a lot of special meanings in their own right. In Calgary, winning the 500 in world-record time, I think there has got to be something said for doing something for the very first time. It's not to say my other wins weren't thrilling and exciting. They were in their own way."
"I appreciate the support I got from Central Illinois. I had a lot of people in my court who were very instrumental in helping me chase my dreams."