Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Scott Hamilton Calls His Life ‘Miraculous’ After Tragedies and Setbacks

<div>Scott Hamilton Calls His Life 'Miraculous' After Tragedies and Setbacks</div>
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Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton is taking stock of his blessings after facing multiple tragedies and setbacks throughout his life.

“I was unwanted as a baby, and I got great parents. I got sick, and I found skating. I lost my mother, and I found my identity in her,” Hamilton, 65, told People in an interview published on Thursday, February 22. “Why would I ever look at these difficult times as anything other than strengthening times? I’m blessed beyond my wildest imagination.”

The retired figure skater was adopted as a baby and stopped growing at the age of 4, needing a feeding tube as a child to ensure he was receiving enough nutrition. (Hamilton later learned that his undetected brain tumor may have been the reason why he didn’t grow.)

When a skating rink opened up near his home, Hamilton began taking classes, saying, “It was so exciting. All of a sudden I wasn’t just this odd, sickly kid with the tube in my nose. Pretty soon I realized I could skate as well as the best athlete in my grade. It was the first taste of self-esteem I ever had. Soon I wanted to be on the ice all the time.”

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He began growing again but said he was “a last-place guy.” His mom, Dorothy Hamilton, would tell their neighbors her son was “going to the Olympics someday” to which he would reply, “‘Based on what? I’m not that good!’”

Dorthoy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976, and she died the following year when Scott was a teenager. His career as a figure skater took off years later, winning the 1984 gold medal at the Olympic games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

He went on to launch the ice skating tour “Stars on Ice” but was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997. After undergoing surgery and treatment to shrink the tumor, he was in remission later that year.

“I realized life was precious. And I wanted to be an activist,” Hamilton, who launched the nonprofit Scott Hamilton CARES, said.

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Along the way he married his wife, Tracie Robinson, in 2002, and the pair welcomed sons Aidan and Maxx in 2003 and 2008, respectively. They also adopted Jean Paul and Evelyne, bringing them home from Haiti in 2014.

“I’m the most unlikely person on the planet to have experienced any of this,” he told the outlet, adding, “It’s all been kind of miraculous, really.”

Scott was diagnosed with a brain tumor for the first time in 2004 and again in 2010. He shared in 2016 that he had a third brain tumor and candidly said earlier this month that he decided to forego treatment.

“When they gave me the diagnosis, they said, ‘It’s back,’” Scott told People on Wednesday, February 21, recalling the moment from 2016. “And so, they brought in this guy, a really young, talented surgeon, and he said, ‘We could do the surgery again. It’d be complicated, but we’ve got really talented people here that we could bring in, and I know we could pull it off if that’s an option for you.’”

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The tumor initially shrank following the diagnosis, but it began to grow again. He said the surgery became a less accessible option when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“COVID hit and going into any kind of hospital situation was almost impossible,” Scott said. “So, in my spirit, in my inner being, I realized, I’m totally at peace with not even looking at it again unless I become symptomatic.”

While expressing his desire not to undergo surgery again, Scott noted he isn’t opposed to other forms of treatment.

“The ace I have up my sleeve is that now there is a targeted radiation therapy that will shrink the tumor,” he explained. “And in that, I can avoid a lot of other things like surgery and chemo. I’m mostly trying to be in the moment and [take in] all the information and do the right thing when the time comes.”

By Michael

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