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From Lake Placid to the Olympics Part 3
March 7, 2010 - Christie Sausa
"I LOVE THIS TOWN!!"
This is what Scott Hamilton says every time he is in Lake Placid- which is approximately once or twice a year, depending on the event schedule here.
The 51 year old figure skater is not only one of the most recognizable sports figures in history, but also the founder of a Lake Placid institution, the Stars on Ice tour. Although the tour was on hiatus for the Olympics this year, this past December Scott returned to Lake Placid as emcee and performer in "Scott Hamilton's Holiday Concert on Ice". This show heralded Scott's return to professional skating, along with superstar skaters Ekaterina Gordeeva, Steven Cousins, and Kimmie Meissner. A handful of others, including Scott's longtime friend Jozef Sabovcik and Turkish Olympian Tugba Karadamir, rounded out the cast, skating to the live songs of American Idols Melinda Doolittle and Phil Stacey. But did you know that Scott Hamilton skated here before Stars on Ice? Not only did he compete in his first Olympics in Lake Placid (he finished 5th), but Scott also skated in Lake Placid as an amateur.
Not many people realize that Scott has been coming to Lake Placid since he was 10 years old, competing in the Lake Placid Summer Freestyle Competition. He also competed in the 1979 Norton Skate (now called "Skate America"), the 1980 Olympic Games, and the 1981 Skate America.
Scott also talked about training in Lake Placid, specifically in the summer of 1977 in a special training camp called the North American Training Camp. He described his schedule as follows: "We arrived early each morning at 5:30 am for patch sessions at the Lake Placid Olympics arena and the Guss Lussi rink, named after the legendary coach who trained Dick Button. Then there would be a long break during which most of us would eat and catch up on our sleep. At 5 pm, we'd show up for the nighttime freestyle sessions and skate until 8 pm".
Not many people realize that Scott not only skated in the 1980 Olympics, but also carried the flag in the Opening Ceremonies for the 1980 Olympics, held on the horseshow grounds. In other publications, Scott mentioned that he felt very nervous, but also proud to carry the flag for his country, but there were some uncertain moments. According to interviews with Scott about his flagbearing role in the Opening Ceremonies, he was nervous and afraid of slipping and dropping the flag, but was extremely honored to represent his country as the flag-bearer.
Although originally from Ohio, Hamilton has become a regular visitor to Lake Placid. In addition to skating in and producing shows, Scott is a television commentator, television show host (he hosted the Fox show "Skating with Celebrities"), and author. His most recent appearance was at the Vancouver Olympics, where he commentated as an NBC Commentator for the skating events, and appeared on television shows to discuss skating.
It is hoped that Stars on Ice and Scott Hamilton will return to Lake Placid next year for their new tour, which will include new Olympic stars.
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