In 1,000-meter race, speedskater wins by 0.02 of a second.


February 14, 1992|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Staff Writer

ALBERTVILLE, France -- Bonnie Blair won her second gold medal of the 1992 Winter Olympics today.

On a day when the tennis courts were filled with players in shirt sleeves, when a set of plastic Olympic rings shriveled up in melting ice, when the whole town was swathed in mud and trickling water, a certified American heroine of winter sports was crowned.

Ms. Blair, a speedskating dynamo from Champaign, Ill., won the women's 1,000 meters in 1:21.90. Ye Qiaobo of China received the silver, just two-hundredths of a second behind in 1:21.92. Germany's Monique Garbrecht won the bronze in 1:22.10.

Ms. Blair won her first gold of 1992 in Monday's 500 meters. Add the two golds here to her 500-meter triumph in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, and you have America's all-time women's winter gold-medal performer.

Only speedskater Eric Heiden, with five gold medals won at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, leads Ms. Blair.

Today, Ms. Blair skated without flaw. Paired with Germany's Angela Hauck in the third group, Ms. Blair performed under ideal conditions.

Although it was warm, with temperatures in the mid-50's, the ice was newly resurfaced, and the opponent provided just the right pace.

Ms. Blair broke away from Ms. Hauck a third of the way through the race, and then skated for the finish while her contingent of 44 family members and fans waved American flags and chanted: "Go, Bonnie, Go."

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