Scott Scovell Hamilton (born August 28, 1958 in Toledo, Ohio) is an American figure skater and Olympic gold medalist. He won four consecutive U.S. championships (1981-1984), four consecutive World Championships (1981-1984) and the 1984 Olympics.
Hamilton was adopted at the age of six weeks by Ernest S. Hamilton and Dorothy McIntosh of Bowling Green, Ohio. He has two siblings, older sister Susan and younger brother Steven (also adopted). He attended Kenwood Elementary School. When Scott was two years old he contracted a mysterious illness that caused him to stop growing. After numerous tests and several wrong diagnoses (including a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis that gave him just six months to live), the disease began to correct itself. His family physician sent him to Boston Children's hospital to see a Dr. Shwachman. Sources are unable to verify if he was actually diagnosed by Dr. Shwachman as having Shwachman-Diamond syndrome. It is said that a special diet and exercise cured the problem. However, he grew to only 5-foot-2½ and he weighed only 108 pounds during his peak skating years.
At age 13 he began training with Pierre Brunet, a former Olympic champion. In 1976, however, he was almost forced to quit skating because the cost of training was too high, and he enrolled in college. However, Helen and Frank McLoraine stepped in to provide financial support for Hamilton to continue his training.
In 1980, Hamilton finished third in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, earning him a place on the U.S. Olympic team. He finished in fifth place at the 1980 Winter Olympics, where he also had the honor of carrying the American flag in the opening ceremony. His breakthrough performance was in the 1981 U.S. Championships. He performed flawlessly and the audience was at a standing ovation several seconds before the end of the performance. He never lost a competition again. In 1981 he won gold in the World Figure Skating Championships. He won gold again in 1982 and 1983 at the U.S. and World Championships, and won the gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics. He won that year's World Championships and then turned professional in April 1984.
After turning professional, Hamilton toured with Ice Capades for two years, and then created "Scott Hamilton's American Tour," which later was renamed Stars on Ice. He co-founded, co-produced and performed in Stars on Ice for fifteen years before retiring from the tour in 2001 (though he still returns for occasional guest performances).
He has been awarded numerous skating honors, including being the first solo male figure skater to be awarded the Jacques Farvat Award (in 1988). In 1990 he was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
Hamilton was a skating commentator for CBS television for many years, beginning in 1985. He has also worked for NBC television. In 2006 he was the host of the FOX television program "Skating with Celebrities." He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics International.
In 1990, as the Make-A-Wish Foundation honored its 10th birthday, Scott Hamilton was recognized as the Foundation's first ever "Celebrity Wish Granter of the Year." In 1997 Hamilton had a much-publicized battle with testicular cancer. He made a return to skating after his treatment and his story was featured in magazines and on television. It was announced on November 12, 2004 that Hamilton had a benign brain tumor, which was treated at the Cleveland Clinic. He has also helped to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation where he is an honorary board member.
In 1993, the Associated Press released results of a national sports study. Hamilton ranked in the top eight most popular athletes in America, ranking far ahead of big-name sports stars such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Troy Aikman, and Dan Marino, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, and Nolan Ryan.
On November 14, 2002 he married Tracie Robinson, a nutritionist. The couple have two sons, Aidan McIntosh Hamilton (born September 13, 2003) and Maxx Hamilton (born January 21, 2008). The family resides in Nashville, Tennessee. They are members of the Church of Christ.
In 2009, Hamilton wrote the book, The Great Eight, which shared the secrets to his happiness and how he overcame numerous challenges and disappointments throughout his life.