Blogtober Day 30: Bonnie Blair

Fun fact: I've had the date of this post planned out since... well, since the idea of Blogtober took shape. Yet this is the post I'm scrambling to write so I can go to bed. Irony at its finest! Can't complain, though -- it was an epic night of final Halloween costume prep. But, uh, I apologize if this isn't my most eloquent post ever. It's kind of past my bedtime! :P

Man, Bonnie is basically in a class of her own among winter Olympians. It's kind of unbelievable.

She went to her first Olympics in 1984 when she was only 19 and finished eighth in the 500m. In 1988 she was back again, this time winning gold in the 500m and bronze in the 1,000m, setting a 500m world record in the process and becoming America's only double medalist at those Games. In 1992, she won gold in both the 500m and 1,000m. This made her the first woman to win two Olympic 500m titles and the first American woman to win consecutive winter Olympic championships.

But Bonnie was far from done, as she competed in a final Olympics in 1994. She won the 500m for a third straight time, a whole 36 hundredths of a second faster than the silver medalist. In her final Olympic race, the 1,000m, she destroyed the competition by a full 1.38 seconds, the largest margin in Olympic history for the event.

After the 1994 Olympics, Bonnie continued racing. In March of that year, she became the first woman to skate the 500m in under 39 seconds. She retired on her 31st birthday, in March of 1995, right after setting a new personal best and American record in the 1,000m in her final race ever. Talk about going out while you're on top!

As if all that wasn't enough, Bonnie also skated short track early on in her career, winning the 1986 Overall Short-track World Championship. Because why the heck not?
In her career, Bonnie won five Olympic gold medals and one bronze, making her the most decorated American Winter Olympian ever. That record stood until Apolo Ohno won his seventh and eighth medals in Vancouver 2010. But while Apolo has more medals in total, only two of them are gold. So if we want to talk about pure domination... Bonnie wins. She is by far one of the best sprinters ever.

Why was I planning on writing this post today, you ask? Well, yesterday Bonnie was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame, and I got to go! Just being in the same general breathing space as she was made the whole thing worth it! She talked about how she doesn't care that her kids don't speed skate, but that she wants them to love their chosen sport as much as she loved hers. She's completely adorable. :) The guy running the ceremony was basically fawning over her, and to be honest, I don't blame him at all!

One more day of Blogtober, guys! ONE. MORE. DAY.

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