Barbara Ann Scott

Barbara Ann Scott was born on May 9, 1928 and died September 30, 2012 at age 84. She was a Canadian figure skater. Barbara Scott was the youngest of three children born to Canadian Army Colonel Clyde Rutherford Scott and Mary (née Purves) of Sandy Hill, Ottawa.


She began skating at the age of seven with the Minto Skating Club, coached by Otto Gold and Sheldon Galbraith.At age nine, Scott switched from regular schooling to tutoring two and a half hours a day in order to accommodate her seven hours of daily ice training. 


At the age of ten she became the youngest skater ever to pass the “gold figures test”and at eleven years old won her first national junior title.By the age of fifteen, Scott became Canada’s senior national champion; she held the Canadian Figure skating championship title from 1944-1946.


Growing up in Ottawa, Scott idolized Henie, the women’s singles champion at the last three Olympics before World War II. Emerging as a champion in her own right, Scott was hailed as Canada’s sweetheart when she put her country on the international sports map, prompting a toy company to create a Barbara Ann Scott doll.


It became a cherished gift for a generation of Canadian girls. The former Canadian prime-minister Mackenzie King, who died in 1950, said Scott “gave Canadians courage to get through the darkness of the post-war gloom.”


And she charmed with her youthful glamour. Life magazine, reporting on her 1947 world championship victory in Stockholm, called her “a shy, blue-eyed Canadian beauty” that was “undeniably lovely in face and form.”


She was awarded the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s Top Athlete of the Year in 1945, 1947 and 1948. She was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1948, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1966 and the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1991.


Scott turned professional, skating with the Hollywood Ice Revue in Chicago where she met publicist Tom King, whom she married in 1955. As a professional she toured outside Canada. Amongst her early successes was the huge hit, Tom Arnold’s Rose Marie on Ice.


Scott carried the Olympic torch during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Scott was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991, a member of the Order of Ontario in 2009, and in 1998 was named to Canada’s Walk of Fame. 


In December 2009 she carried the Olympic torch to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. On February 12, 2010, she was one of the bearers of the Olympic flag at the opening ceremonies of the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Scott died on September 30, 2012 at her home in Florida; her husband, Tom King, confirmed her death. Growing up a local arena was named after her in Nepean, Ontario, as part of the Pine-crest Recreation Centre.


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