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Barbara Ann Scott: Skater Scott Dies

October 1, 2012 by  

Barbara Ann Scott: Skater Scott Dies, It all began for Barbara Ann Scott on Dow’s Lake. There, like so many other Ottawa children, Scott took to the ice for the first time on double-bladed bob skates that buckled to her boots. It was one winter’s day in the Depression.

But a relationship began that day, between a young girl and the ice, that would ultimately define her legend – and give to Canada its only gold medal in individual figure skating.

Barbara Ann Scott, Canada’s sweetheart and a woman who inspired generations of skaters, died Sunday at her home in Florida. She was 84.

Tributes to Scott poured in Monday. She was remembered as tiny perfect figure skater, an icon with regal charm, inner steel and much humility.

“When I woke up and heard the news it broke my heart, it really did,” Ottawa’s Elizabeth Manley, the silver medallist in the 1988 Calgary Olympics, said in an interview.

Manley said she loved and idolized Scott.

“She was the classiest, nicest woman anyone could ever meet,” said Manley. “She was so sweet and so kind and so tiny, but she was a tough woman. That’s what I admired so much.”

Frannie Dafoe, a Canadian pairs skater who won the silver medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics, said figure skating has lost its greatest ambassador.

“All the little girls growing up wanted to be a Barbara Ann Scott as I did,” Dafoe told the Citizen.

“She was Canada’s perfect ambassador: beautiful, gracious and charming. She always had the time and interest to encourage young skaters and fans. She took her role as part of skating’s history very seriously.”

Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said Scott’s grace and humility put her in a class of her own: “Her accomplishments will never be forgotten as she has paved the way for generations of figure skaters.”

Skate Canada President BenoĆ®t Lavoie said Scott’s discipline and focus established the foundation for her success. “Barbara Ann set the standard for generations of female athletes and women skaters who came after her,” he said.

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