3 Interesting Facts About Scott Hamilton
RootsTech is thrilled to announce Scott Hamilton as an honored guest at the upcoming RootsTech conference. Hamilton, a renowned American figure skater, Olympic gold medalist, and cancer survivor, will join us on the RootsTech stage as a keynote speaker on Friday, March 2, 2018.
Here are three things you might not know about this inspiring American icon.
Adoption Has Played a Big Part in His Life
Hamilton is an adoptee. He was born on August 8, 1958, in Toledo, Ohio, and was adopted six weeks later by Dorothy and Ernie Hamilton of Bowling Green, Ohio.
He also has adopted two children. When a massive earthquake rocked the country of Haiti in 2010, Hamilton’s wife felt inspired to travel there to help in the aftermath. She connected with an organization that partnered with an orphanage in the country and made many trips to offer assistance. The Hamiltons subsequently met, fell in love with, and later adopted two children from the orphanage.
He Jokingly Claims That He Collects Life-Threatening Illnesses
No stranger to illness, Hamilton has suffered more than his fair share of physical ailments. As a young man he battled a rare disorder called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, characterized by limited nutrient absorption and stunted growth. However, Hamilton’s shorter height has been a good thing; he eventually topped out at 5’3” and has found his smaller stature to be incredibly advantageous on the ice.
As an adult, Hamilton has dealt with consistent health scares. In 1997 he was diagnosed with and recovered from testicular cancer. His first brain tumor was discovered in 2004, his second in 2010, and a third was discovered in August of 2016. He underwent gamma knife radiation for treatment of the first tumor and surgery for the removal of the second and has since experienced a miracle with the third: his doctors report it has gotten smaller!
He Kept His Gold Medal in a Drawer
When asked in a recent interview with television sports reporter Graham Bensinger why he kept his gold medal in a drawer for a time, Hamilton’s answer was twofold. First, shortly after winning the gold medal, he was asked to speak at a banquet for the Paralympics in Denver. When he arrived and saw gold-medal athletes who were blind or without limbs and were “conquering mountains,” he realized that he had won his gold medal “able-bodied” and found himself humbled by the experience.
Second, a memorable conversation with the governor of Colorado reminded him to remain humble; to avoid what the governor called the “hometown hero syndrome,” Hamilton made the choice to live somewhat removed from his achievement and decided to keep his gold medal in a drawer. Later, when he was inducted into the World Figure Skater Hall of Fame, he happily donated the medal and other items that represented his many achievements.