Beyond the Game: Speedskater Bonnie Blair

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Bonnie Kathleen Blair is one of the greatest speedskaters of all time.

She is one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history -- winning five gold medals, and is in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Blair, an Illinois native who moved to the Milwaukee area to train is also a Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Famer, and a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.

You'd never know to look at her, but the wife and mother of two turns 50 next March.

Blair's husband, David, is a four-time U.S. Olympic speedskater.

FOX6 News caught up with Blair as she did a photo shoot for Catholic Relief Services -- an international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States.

What Blair likes about the program is that it raises funds to allow the less fortunate to lead self-sustainable lives.

Blair says her speedskating experiences have taken her to at least 16 countries. She says they became the impetus for her wanting to reach out.

The beauty of Blair is that she's the same sweet, humble woman now as she was before she became a speedskating legend. In a sense, she's still using the gifts she had on the ice -- not for medals, but for something even more lasting and meaningful.

Blair has become all too familiar with losses in her family.

Blair's mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, died in 2004. Blair's brother, David passes away after a battle with brain cancer in 2008.

Blair's sister, May succumbed to leukemia in March, and another sister, Angela, has hepatitis B.

Blair has honored all her loved ones by lending her time and talent to groups who raise funds to fight these diseases.