I have been a figure skating fan ever since I was a kid doing my best to copy Karen Magnussen on the ice. I was never very good at it. I remember that same year our wee town held a competition on my birthday week–I went home with nothing, and my more talented sister went home with a most-improved trophy. Yeah, I was jealous.
But it didn’t deter my appreciation of the sport, and I’ve followed some names through their national championships to their world and Olympic performances, and afterwards in their professional careers. Scott Hamilton has always been one of my favourites, from his gold medal win in Sarajevo in 1984 to his many shows on Stars on Ice. When he was diagnosed with cancer, I shuddered with some familiarity of what that meant.
Successfully treated, Mr. Hamilton returned to Stars on Ice and I had an opportunity to see him skate in Edmonton, Alberta. I treated my mother with tickets for her birthday and together we enjoyed the performance. His featured skate poked fun at Don Quixote but his costume poked fun at himself.
I loved it, but what I loved more than anything else, was that he made my mother laugh.
Two days later, I needed to be at the Calgary airport for work. There, in the food court, was the entire Stars on Ice cast. I’m not normally star-struck, but I did want to take advantage of that opportunity to thank him. So I summoned my courage, and talked to him for about two minutes. He couldn’t have been more gracious, and it’s a special memory for me.
Recently, a friend of mine posted this video from him. I have always been appreciative of his courage and his strength, but I love what he says here. I hope you do too.