Scott Hamilton , (born August 28, 1958, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.), American figure skater, who was a four-time world champion and the 1984 Olympic gold medal winner in men’s figure skating. He has been credited with imbuing men’s figure skating with an air of athleticism. In order to portray figure skating as a sport, he took to the ice in the 1983 World Championships wearing a sleek black speed-skating suit rather than the customary beaded and sequined costumes worn by his fellow skaters.
Hamilton was adopted at birth and was plagued by a childhood illness that stunted his growth (at the peak of his amateur career he was 5 feet 2.5 inches [1.59 metres] tall and weighed 108 pounds [49 kg]). He began skating at age 9 and was competing in local and regional events by age 11. In 1980, at age 22, he secured a position on the U.S. Olympic team by placing third in the U.S. national championships. He placed fifth that year, but his ascent had begun. From 1981 through 1984 Hamilton won both the U.S. national and world championships.
At the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Hamilton was considered unbeatable. His performance in compulsory figures was stellar, but Canadian skater Brian Orser outshone Hamilton in both the short and long programs. Nonetheless, Hamilton’s combined scores for the three events gave him the victory and the United States its first gold medal in men’s figure skating since David Jenkins’s victory in 1960 (see Sidebar: Scott Hamilton: Training for Olympic Gold). He retired from amateur competition after his victory at the 1984 World Championships.
Hamilton was the world professional champion in 1984 and 1986, and he continued to win professional titles into the 1990s. In 1986 he helped form Stars on Ice, a touring figure-skating company. He also worked as a television analyst for the U.S. national championships and for the Olympics. He received the U.S. Olympic Committee’s first Olympic Spirit Award in 1987 and the International Skating Union’s (ISU) highest