Figure skating legend Barbara Ann Scott dies

Figure skating legend Barbara Ann Scott. (TONY SPEARS/QMI Agency file photo)

Figure skating legend Barbara Ann Scott. (TONY SPEARS/QMI Agency file photo)

MIKE KOREEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:15 AM ET

OTTAWA - Legendary Canadian figure skater Barbara Ann Scott died at her Florida home Sunday night.

She was 84.

Her husband, Tom King, was by Scott’s side at their Amelia Island home.

Scott, known as Canada’s sweetheart, won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland — the only Canadian to strike gold in individual figure skating at a Winter Games.

Skate Canada, the governing body for the sport in Canada, released a statement Sunday night.

“Barbara Ann set the standard for generations of female athletes and women skaters who came after her. The discipline and focus that she learned early in her career were the foundation of her success, as Canadian, North American, European, World and Olympic Champion,” said Skate Canada president Benoit Lavoie. “And she remained so connected to the sport, and to Canada after her own career was over. Every time she attended our events, she inspired our skaters and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. We extend our sincere sympathy to her husband Tom, her family, and her friends. She will be sadly missed by the international skating community and by her many fans worldwide.”

The two-time world champion is a member of Canada’s Walk of Fame, the Order of Ontario and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. She’s also an officer of the Order of Canada.

Reaction poured in on Twitter.

“I was very sorry to hear about the passing of Olympian and Ottawa’s sweetheart Barbara Ann Scott. She was a wonderful person will be missed,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said. “She was the epitome of class and grace.”

Scott was last in Ottawa in August to open a permanent exhibit of her treasures at City Hall.

Scott also returned to her hometown in 2009 when she carried the Olympic torch into the House of Commons as part of the run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

“I can’t tell you what a thrill this has been, an 81-year-old gal being invited to carry the torch into the Parliament buildings,” she said at the time.

Scott started skating at the Ottawa Minto Club at the age of six. Her first ice show came when she appeared as Raggedy Ann.

In 1940, at age 11, she became the youngest junior national champion in history. Four years later, she won her first senior title.

After winning the Olympics in 1948, she was greeted by a crowd of 70,000 people in Ottawa to celebrate the Olympic gold.

Scott won the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete in 1945, 1947 and 1948. She was named Canada’s top female athlete in 1946, 1947 and 1948.


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