US ice skating legend Scott Hamilton reveals he's avoiding surgery for 3rd brain tumor


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Scott Hamilton, who won figure skating gold for the U.S. in the 1984 Olympics, revealed on Wednesday that he will hold off on treating a third brain tumor until he shows symptoms.

Hamilton went through surgery twice to deal with cancer in his brain, in 2004 and 2010. The second time was more complicated than the first as he dealt with nine different surgeries. He told People magazine he did not want to go through another “complicated” surgery.

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Scott Hamilton in 1984

Scott Hamilton spins on the ice during the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. (Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

“When they gave me the diagnosis, they said, it’s back,” he told the magazine. “And so they brought in this guy, a really young, talented surgeon, and he said, ‘We could do the surgery again. It’d be complicated, but we’ve got really talented people here that we could bring in, and I know we could pull it off if that’s an option for you.’”

Hamilton said he told his doctor he was going to “go home and get strong” instead of immediately jumping onto the operating table again. He said this current tumor had shrunk initially, but when he got back for a checkup in early 2020, it had grown a bit again.

Scott Hamilton with Gracie Gold and Kaitlyn Weaver

Gracie Gold, left, and Kaitlyn Weaver join Olympic champion Scott Hamilton as he celebrates “40 Years Of Going For The Gold” at Glide at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Feb. 16, 2024 in New York City. (John Nacion/Getty Images)

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“And then COVID hit and going into any kind of hospital situation was almost impossible,” Hamilton said. “So in my spirit, in my inner being, I realized, I’m totally at peace with not even looking at it again unless I become symptomatic.

“The ace I have up my sleeve is that now there is a targeted radiation therapy that will shrink the tumor,” he continued. “And in that, I can avoid a lot of other things like surgery and chemo. So I don’t know, I’m mostly trying to be in the moment and taking all the information and do the right thing when the time comes.”

Scott Hamilton in 2023

Scott Hamilton attends the 2023 Scott Hamilton & Friends: A Salute To 90’s Country at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 19, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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Hamilton’s victory at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia ended a 24-year gold medal drought for men’s Olympic figure skating. He then won gold at the 1984 Ottawa World Championships before turning professional.



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