Gold medal

Barbara Ann Scott King (May 9, 1928 – September 30, 2012) was a Canadian figure skater. She was the 1948 Olympic champion, a two-time World champion (1947–1948), and a four-time Canadian national champion (1944–46, 48) in ladies' singles. Known as "Canada's Sweetheart", she is the only Canadian to have won the Olympic ladies' singles gold medal, the first North American to have won three major titles in one year and the only Canadian to have won the European Championship (1947–1948). During her forties she was rated among the top equestrians in North America. She received many honours and accolades, including being made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991 and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2008.

Life and careerEdit

Scott was the youngest of three children born to Canadian Army Colonel Clyde Rutherford Scott and Mary Purves of Sandy Hill in Ottawa. Scott began skating at the age of seven with the Minto Skating Club, coached by Otto Gold and Sheldon Galbraith. At age nine, Scott switched from regular schooling to tutoring 2 1/2 hours a day in order to accommodate her seven hours of daily on ice training. At the age of ten she became the youngest skater ever to pass the "gold figures test" and at eleven years old won her first national junior title. Two years later, in 1942, she became the first female to ever land a double lutz in competition, and by the age of fifteen was Canada's senior national champion.

From 1944 to 1946, she held the Canadian Figure Skating championship. In 1947 Scott became the first North American to win both the European and World Figure Skating championships, and remains the only Canadian to have won the European title. This led to her being voted Canadian Newsmaker of the Year in 1947. On her return to Ottawa during a parade she was given a yellow Buick convertible (license plate: 47-U-1); however it had to be returned for her to retain amateur status, to be eligible for the 1948 Winter Olympics.

During the 1948 season, Scott was able to defend both the World Figure Skating and the European Skating Championships, and reacquired the Canadian Figure Skating Championship, becoming the first North American to win all three in the same year and the first to hold consecutive World titles. She was featured as a Time magazine cover story on February 2, 1948, one week before her Olympic debut in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

At the 1948 Winter Olympics, Scott became the first and only Canadian in history to win the ladies' singles figure skating gold medal]]. After the Olympic win she received a telegram from Prime Minister Mackenzie King, stating that she gave "Canadians courage to get through the darkness of the post-war gloom". When Scott returned to Ottawa on March 9, 1948, the car that she originally relinquished in 1947 was given back (license plate now: 48-U-1), and she also received the "Key" to the city. Commonly referred to as "Canada's Sweetheart" in the press at this time, a collectible doll (accompanied by a letter from her) was issued in her honour in 1948.

In June 1948, Scott officially relinquished her amateur status and began touring North America and Europe, headlining in a variety of shows over the next five years. She donated a percentage of her earnings to aid crippled children. Among her early successes was Tom Arnold's Rose Marie on Ice at the Harringay Arena in London, UK. She went on to replace her childhood idol Sonja Henie in the starring role with the "Hollywood Ice Revue" in Chicago, which became the subject of a Life cover story on February 4, 1952. The gruelling schedule of a professional skater took its toll, and at the age of twenty-five she retired from professional skating.

In 1955 to much fanfare, at the age of twenty-seven Scott married publicist Tom King in a ceremony at the Rosedale Presbyterian Church in Toronto. The couple settled in Chicago, where Barbara Ann opened a beauty salon and became a distinguished horse trainer and equestrian rider by her forties. Scott was also the founder and chancellor of the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Toronto. In 1996, the couple moved to Amelia Island in Nassau County, Florida.

Scott remained an influential figure in skating throughout the years; she appeared in films and TV, published books, served as a skating judge, and was recognized for her charitable and educational causes. As a Canadian sports icon and marking the fortieth anniversary of her Olympic win, she was asked to carry the Olympic Torch in the lead-up to the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. In December 2009, she again carried the Olympic torch, this time to Parliament Hill and into the House of Commons, in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics. She subsequently was one of the Olympic flag bearers during the opening ceremonies in Vancouver on February 12, 2010. In 2012, the city of Ottawa announced the creation of "The Barbara Ann Scott Room", that displays photographs, her championship awards, and the Olympic gold medal that Scott formally donated to the city in 2011. Scott died on September 30, 2012 at her home in Florida.

Orders, accolades and medalsEdit

Scott was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991, and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2008 for her contributions to sports and charitable endeavours. She was also inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1948, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 1991, the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, and was in 1998 named to Canada's Walk of Fame. Her first major honour came in the form of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's Top Athlete of the Year in 1945, which she subsequently won in both 1947 and 1948.

Event 1941 1942 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948
Winter Olympics 1st
World Championships 1st 1st
European Championships 1st 1st
North American Championships 1st 1st
Canadian Championships 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st


Year Tile Role Topic
1947 Johnny at the Fair (Short film) Herself A boy is separated from his mother and father and meets celebrities on his journey
1948 An Introduction to the Art of Figure Skating (Short film) Herself Barbara Ann Scott demonstrate her unique style of figure skating
1949 Beauty and the Blade (Short film) Herself Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott demonstrate six types of skating
1950 Hollywood Ice Capades premiere (Short film) Herself Many skating stars together
1955 What's My Line? (TV series) Herself Appears as a mystery guest – original air date: April 17, 1955
1956 Happy New Year "Sunday Spectacular" (TV movie) Herself Ice ballets by Barbara Ann Scott and Dick Button
1984 You've Come a Long Way, Ladies (TV movie) Herself Documenting the great achievements of women in the 20th century
1997 Queen of the Blades: Life & Times of Barbara Ann Scott (TV series) Herself A biography of Barbara Ann Scott - original air date: March 12, 1997
1999 Reflections on Ice Synopsis (TV series) Herself Documentary on women's figure skating

See alsoEdit

External linkEdit

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