Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21, 1952: Dick Button Grabs The Gold

     On February 21, 1952, American figure skater and Harvard senior Dick Button landed the first ever triple-loop in Olympic competition on his way to winning the Gold Medal in Oslo, Norway. This was the second Gold for Button who also took home the top-prize in the '48 games that were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. In those games he landed the first ever double axel as he revolutionized the sport.

     A crowd of 5,000 witnessed the historic performance. Much like in '48 when he pulled off the double axel, Button stunned the crowd with a confidence to achieve what no man had ever accomplished before. From beginning to end the performance by Button was flawless, throughout his routine the crowd cheered, but the moment that brought about the greatest cheers was the perfectly executed triple loop to bring the program to a close.

     Button would go onto have a successful career behind the mic announcing other figure skating competitions. As mentioned before, he revolutionized his sport as he ventured into new ground which essentially raised the bar for all that followed him. Button was the first to do many things in the sport of figure skating. Along with being the first to land the double axel and triple loop, he was the first American to win Gold in the sport of figure skating. He won his first Gold Medal at the age of 18, and to this day he is the youngest skater to win the title. He is also the only American to ever win the European title and he was the first American to win a world title. At one time Button held the National, North American, European, and World titles, he is the only figure skater in history to hold each of those titles at the same time, Button is the only American to win back-to-back Gold Medals in the sport of figure skating and helped bring the sport to the forefront on his native soil. Button was a true pioneer who changed the sport he came to know and love, while doing so he became an Olympic hero that will be remembered as long as the games are played.


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