Idol Chatter


Scott Hamilton is a legend in the figure skating world. Hamilton won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo and has won four consecutive World Championships. Few skaters are capable of landing a flip on the ice, and the move is against U.S. and Olympic Figure Skating rules. Instead of following these guidelines, Hamilton made the backflip his signature move on the ice and would often include the backflip in his exhibition routines in order to please the crowd. It was this love of showmanship that later led Hamilton to spend two years touring with “Ice Capades” and to create “Scott Hamilton’s American Tour.” The show was later renamed “Stars of Ice.”

Hamilton was born in Toledo, Ohio and adopted by Dorothy and Ernest Hamilton at a young age. When he was two years old, he mysteriously stopped growing. Despite numerous tests and multiple wrong diagnoses, doctors were unable to discover the cause of his illness. Around this time, Hamilton’s baffling condition began to correct itself, but he would never grow to a normal adult height. At the peak of his amateur career, Hamilton only weighed 108 pounds and stood a mere five feet and two inches tall.

Hamilton’s early childhood disease would not be the end of his health problems. In 1997, he was forced to give up his skating career due to testicular cancer. He recovered from his battle with cancer, but less than 10 years later, doctors discovered that Hamilton had a brain tumor. It turns out that this tumor had gone undiagnosed for most of Hamilton’s life, and the tumor was actually the cause of Hamilton’s stunted growth as a child. Hamilton lived with the tumor for six more years before he learned the tumor threatened to cause blindness if left untreated. He had the tumor removed in 2010. The surgery was successful, but there were minor complications. These were successfully resolved a few months later. In 2016, Hamilton reported that he had yet another brain tumor, but he announced in 2017 that the tumor had shrunk on its own.

While health struggles lead some to question their faith, Hamilton said that his struggles taught him to put his faith in God. “I understand that through a strong relationship with Jesus you can endure anything,” Hamilton said. “God is there to guide you through the tough spots. God was there every single time, every single time.”

His faith was deepened further after he spoke to his wife, Tracie, about his brain tumor diagnosis. When Hamilton told her about the brain tumor, she made it a point to pray with him. It was then, Hamilton said, that he truly decided to trust Christ. After all, it was his brain tumor that stunted his growth, and without that stunted growth, Hamilton would never have begun skating.

“Who would I be without a brain tumor?” Hamilton said. “I could choose to look at it as debilitating, I could choose to focus on the suffering. I choose to look at that brain tumor as the greatest gift I could have gotten because it made everything else possible.”

Hamilton remains a legend in figure skating, even after his retirement. He was inducted into the U.S. Olympic and World Figure Skating Halls of Fame in 1990, and his skating routines are still considered to be some of the best the world has ever seen.