Blair marches to record fifth gold medal
Feb. 23, 1994 - At the Viking Ship Olympic Hall in Hamar, Norway, Bonnie Blair prepared to compete in her final Olympic speed skating race, the 1,000 meters. As usual, the four-time Olympic gold medalist had eaten her peanut butter sandwich and sang "When the Saints Go Marching In." Taking her mark, the 29-year-old Blair was paired with one of her fiercest rivals, China's Ye Qiaobo, who had finished second, behind Blair, by one-fiftieth of a second in this event in the 1992 Olympics.
As they completed the first lap, Qiaobo pulled ahead. Blair, who "likes to have somebody to chase," responded in impressive fashion. Skating her fastest 1,000 meters in six years, Blair not only caught Qiaobo, but finished pulling away. Her gold-medal time was 1:18.74, 1.38 seconds ahead of runner-up Anke Baier of Germany. It was the largest winning margin in the event's history.
The victory made Blair the first American woman to earn five gold medals in either the Winter or Summer Games and the first to win six medals in the Winter Olympics.
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