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Canadian History for Kids: Barbara Anne Scott

February 6, 1948 – Ottawa, Ontario’s Barbara Ann Scott wins the gold medal in Figure Skating at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics. St. Moritz, Switzerland

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive, looks at a golden moment for Canada.

It was on February 6, 1948 at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics, in St. Moritz, Switzerland, when Ottawa’s Barbara Ann Scott won the gold medal in Figure Skating. She was the first, and only, Canadian to win an Olympic championship in figure skating singles.

She was also a two-time World champion and a four-time Canadian national champion in ladies’ singles as well as the first North American to have won three major titles in one year and the only Canadian to have won the European Championship. She also won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s Top Athlete of the Year in 1945, 1947 and 1948.

She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991, and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2008 for her contributions to sports. She was also inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1948, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 1991, the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, and was in 1998 named to Canada’s Walk of Fame.

“Canada’s Sweetheart”, as she was often referred to, remained an influential figure in skating throughout her life. She appeared in films and TV, published books, served as a skating judge, and was formally recognized for her charitable and educational causes.

She carried the Olympic torch in the lead-up to the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. In December 2009, she again carried the Olympic torch, this time to Parliament Hill and into the House of Commons, in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics. She subsequently was one of the Olympic flag bearers during the opening ceremonies in Vancouver on February 12, 2010.

In 2012, the City of Ottawa announced the creation of the “Barbara Ann Scott Gallery”, that displays photographs, her championship awards, and the Olympic gold medal donated to the city by her family in 2011.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!

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