Scott Hamilton’s Emotional Journey From Gold Medalist To Survivor
First Published: February 16, 2010 9:00 PM EST Credit: Getty Images
VANCOUVER, Canada -- It was in 1984 when Scott Hamilton won gold at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
Since then, he has been the sport’s greatest ambassador. On TV, Scott’s exuberance and passion elevates every event he narrates.
But as it turns out, the athletic world is lucky to still have Scott around. He dodgeda serious health bullet, not once, but twice.
In 1984, he was a champion. Today, he’s a survivor.
“I though I’d paid my dues, but when this thing came about it was like, ‘OK, here we go,’” Scott told Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos during a new interview in Vancouver, where he spoke of a brain tumor doctors found in 2004.
It was in 1997 when Scott made an emotional return to the ice to celebrate his victory over testicular cancer.
Seven years later, he had yet another health scare.
“It’s how many years later, you know, I’m thinking I’m past everything and it’s, ‘By the way, there’s something in there that’s causing mischief,’” he recalled, referencing the tumor.
When the news came, Scott and his wife Tracie prepared for the worst.
“They had to do a biopsy where they take something and they stick it down through your brain and take a piece of this tumor and the pre-operative talk is, ’We seem to have found a safe corridor but here’s a list of things that can happen badly where your life can change forever,’” he continued.
“It was a week of just [my wife and I] holding each other and praying,” Scott said. “I had a 14-month-old son. I waited a long time to become a father [and I thought], ‘What impact am I going to have on my son if I’m debilitated?”
Fortunately, Scott and Tracie’s prayers were answered – the tumor was benign and the treatment was successful.
Now, 26 years removed from winning Olympic gold, Scott is back in training at age 51 – not with the idea of competing again, but to ensure he’s doing everything he can to stay healthy.
“I’ve got two young children, I wanted to live longer and I realized that with all my health issues, I was going in the wrong direction,” he told Maria. “Skating has always given me my optimum health and I just felt it was time to do that.”
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