Canadian figure skating great Barbara Ann Scott, the only Canadian to win an individual Olympic gold medal in her sport, died Sunday at her home in Florida. She was 84.
“Barbara Ann set the standard for generations of female athletes and women skaters who came after her,” said Skate Canada president Benoit Lavoie in a statement. “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.”
Born in in 1928, Scott began practicing at age seven at the Minto Skating Club and captured her first championship at the age of 12.
Canada’s CTV News writes that, at age 13 in 1942, Barbara became the first woman to land a double Lutz in competition, and, by 15, she was the national senior champion, a title she held three more times.
She would go on to win both the European championships and World Championships in 1947, and, in 1948, captured Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in individual figure skating at St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Scott, a two-time world champion, was a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and an officer of the Order of Canada. She was Canada’s top female athlete in 1946, 1947, and 1948.
In 1997, Barbara was inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame and was named to Canada’s Walk of Fame the following year.
After retiring from competitive figure skating, Scott skated in ice shows for a number of years, donating a percentage of all her earnings to aid crippled children.
Scott is survived by her husband, Tom King.