Scott Hamilton’s parents were worried. Their son was two years old and he wasn’t growing. His stomach appeared bloated.
“I looked like I was starving to death,” Hamilton said. “Doctors didn’t know what was wrong.”
Hamilton went from doctor to doctor, appointment to appointment.
“After years, and years, and years of living in hospitals and being away from other kids and not growing and not developing, I went home to live a normal life,” Hamilton said in another interview. “And part of that was going to the skating rink every Saturday morning with our family doctor’s kids, the Klepners’ kids, and my sister was part of the skating program. And it was one of those things that I could do probably better than the kids that were really tall and really muscular and everything else.
“And it gave me some self-esteem that I didn’t have growing up because I was the shortest one in class and sick and couldn’t really compete – couldn’t play all those reindeer games, I guess. So I started skating and the illness completely went away.”
Scott Hamilton had found his calling.
He competed through the junior ranks, finally breaking through as a high school senior and winning a National Junior Championship. He qualified for the Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Winter Games, where he finished fifth. The following year, he started an amazing four-year run, winning the U.S. National championship and World Championship each year, culminating with his gold medal performance in the Sarajevo 1984 Olympic Winter Games.