You don’t have to follow figure skating for the name Scott Hamilton to ring a bell. The Olympic gold medalist was known for his signature back flip move that few other skaters could do.
Not many knew that Hamilton’s battle on the ice would be followed by an even bigger one off of the ice. But this battle has left the iconic skater stronger than ever before.
His battle began in Hamilton’s childhood when he stopped growing at age two. He had trouble digesting food, and had been in and out of hospitals due to a misdiagnosed brain tumor.
“They couldn’t come up with a diagnosis because, in the ’60s, they didn’t have the technology to find it,” said Hamilton.
Around that time, Hamilton started figure skating, and being in the rink seemed to help with his condition. Little did he know that a star in the sport was also being born.
In 1997, Hamilton was diagnosed with testicular cancer, something doctors explained that he had actually been born with.
That meant that he had won his Olympic medals while dealing with cancer. And he was able to overcome it with chemo and surgery, and retired from figure skating in 2001.
But his battle for health was far from over. Hamilton was later diagnosed with benign brain tumors in both 2004 and 2010.
In 2016, the Olympian shared that he was diagnosed with a third tumor. “I have a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness,” he said.
But Hamilton, along with wife, Tracie, was counting his blessings. At a scan in 2017, it was determined that the tumor miraculously been shrinking.
It is more likely for these types of benign tumors to grow. The fact the Hamilton’s were instead shrinking without treatment was very unusual.
When he asked his doctor how the tumors were shrinking, the Olympian was shocked by his answer.
“He just smiled and looked at me and goes, ‘God.’ That’s it. Whoa,” he said. “I was just a blubbering mess, like, ‘I’m not worthy of this.’”
The famous skater kept his winning attitude through all of his battles, and trusted God to get him through the difficult times. “The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” he said.
It was this strong mindset that made him not only a skating hero, but a cancer survivor as well. He decided to give up unhealthy food and live a cleaner life. He also decided to renew his Christian faith and found himself drawing closer to God.
Hamilton, Tracie, and their four children are working even harder to make a difference for others. The Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation raises money to help fight cancer. We pray for Hamilton’s continued health!
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.