Skating First US Men's Olympic Gold Medal

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Imagine being the first person to ever land a double-axel jump at the most important figure skating competition in the world. That is exactly how Dick Button won the first U.S. Men’s Olympic gold medal for figure skating. With excitement in his eyes, he went up to accept his gold medal. Little did he know, that would not be the last time he would accept a gold medal. Button is the winner of seven consecutive U.S. championships. Dick Button was born on July 18, 1929, in Englewood, New Jersey. When he was young, his mother wanted him to play piano and his father wanted him to play ice hockey. But when Button received his first pair of figure skates when he was twelve years old, he dreamed of being a figure skater. On Saturday afternoons, Button spent hours skating at a nearby skating rink. In the summer of 1942, Button’s father sent him to train with ice-dancing coach, Joe Carroll, in New York. Soon after, Carroll recommended that Button go train with Switzerland-born skier and skating coach, Gustave Lussi. Button practiced an average of seven hours every day just perfecting different routines. All of Dick’s hard work and time spent training shortly paid off. Not only did Dick Button make himself well-known, but he also impacted Scott Hamliton’s figure skating career immensely. At the 1984 Winter Olympics, Scott Hamilton had the honor of winning a gold medal for figure skating (Hoover 2). Ever since Hamilton was a child, he looked up to Button and wanted to win the gold medal like he did. Button and Hamilton ironically became friends later in life. They were both at the 2010 Winter Olympics cheering for another figure skater (Jenco 1). Lucky for Hamilton, he got to become friends with one of his idols. When Scott Hamilton was learni... ... middle of paper ... ... Champions." The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 June 1993. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. "More Coverage." Daily Herald. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. Salem, Press. “Dick Button.” Great Athletes (Salem Press) (2001): 367. History Reference Center. Web. 6 Mar. 2014. Nancy Armour@nramourUSA TODAY, Sports. “Lysacek unsure he likes the view of OLYMPICS.” USA Today n.d.: Newspaper Source. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. Gregorian, Vahe. “Lysacek makes amends for 2006.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 17 Feb. 2010: Newspaper Source. Web. 5 Mar. 2014. Boccella, Kathy. “Aging gracefully- as synchronized skaters with Philly Spirit.” Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) 06 Nov. 2011: Newspaper Source. Web. 5 Mar. 2014. Hoover, John E. “Golden memories: Retired Tulsa doctor ruled the skating rink at the Winter Olympics 50 years ago.” Tulsa World (OK) 18 Feb. 2010: Newspaper Source. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.

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