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U.s. Olympic Festival : Los Angeles--1991 : Memorable Moments

July 10, 1991|RANDY HARVEY

BONNIE BLAIR

Speedskating

She won five short-track gold medals in 1985 at Baton Rouge, La., including one as a member of the men's 5,000-meter relay team after Bruce Grannes pulled a hamstring and had to withdraw.

"I had been filling in for the men's teams during practices because of injuries, but I didn't know I'd have to compete until after I finished the women's 3,000-meter relay," she said. "They asked if I could skate and I said, 'OK, but give me at least five minutes to rest.'

"As it turned out, we had a time that stood as the Festival record until a couple of years ago. It was neat for me. The exchange in a relay is made by pushing the person ahead of you in the butt. I'm so small that the guys sent me flying. I was able to coast about half a lap without skating. It was so much fun to go that fast.

"Unfortunately, when it came to my turn to make the exchange, the guy didn't get much of a push from me. But I did the best job I could."

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