5 Best Male Olympic Figure Skating Champions
The 5 best Olympic figure skating champions come from around the world and have represented their countries in more than one Olympic game.
These athletes have pioneered and re-invented the world of men's figure skating and all have more than one World Champion titles. Several of the best male Olympic figure skaters have jumps named after them, and have been the first to land difficult moves.
- Dick Button. American male figure skater Richard "Dick" Button was born July 18, 1929 and began training professionally at the age of 12. He was the first person to complete a triple jump during competition in 1952 and is known for pioneering a newer, modern era of athleticism on ice. In 1949 Button became the first winter athlete to receive the the Sullivan Award, emblematic of the outstanding amateur athlete in the country. During the 1952 Oslo Olympic games, Button became the first individual to place first by every Olympic judge in every phase of the competition making him the best male Olympic figure skating champion. He is a two-time Olympic champion winning gold medals at the 1948 St. Moritz games, and the 1952 Oslo games.
- Ulrich Salchow. Swedish Olympic male figure skater Ulrich Salchow was born in 1877 and went on to dominated the sport at the beginning of the last century. Ulrich Salchow won the European Championship nine times, and currently holds the record for the most world figure skating championships with ten. Ulrich Salchow won the first Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating when it became an Olympic sport during the 1908 summer games in London. Salchow has a figure skating jump named after him called, "salchow" which the skater takes off from the back inside edge of one foot and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.
- Scott Hamilton. Born August 28, 1958 in Ohio, Scott Hamilton contracted a mysterious illness at the age of two that caused him to stop growing. His ailment began to correct itself over time, and Scott skating improved his health due to the intense physical activity in a cold atmosphere at the rink. Scott Hamilton left home at the age of 13 to train professionally in figuring skating, and by 1980 came in third place at the national competition. Hamilton's first Olympic experience was at the 1980 Olympics where he finished fifth. Winning every national and world competition for the next four years including a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics makes Scott Hamilton one of the best male figure skating champions.
- Alexei Yagudin. Born in 1980, Alexei Yagudin is a Russian male figure skater who started to skate at the age of four-and-a-half. Training with Alexei Mishin led Alexei Yagudin to gain the foundation of technical base for his jumps leading him to win World Junior and World Senior titles. He is a four-time World Champion, a two-time World Professional Figure Skating Champion, and a three-time European Champion. During the 2002 Olympic games in Salt Lake City, Alexei Yagudin became the men's singles figuring skating championship. Later that year he became the first figure skater to receive six perfect scores for presentation during the World Figure Skating Championship in Japan.
- Evgeni Plushenko. Russian male figure skater Evgeni Plushenko was born on November 3, 1982 and has currently placed in three Olympic games. Evgeni Plushenko is one of the best male figure skater champions because he won the silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City games, a gold medal at the 2006 Turin games, and a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver games. Starting to skate at age four, and when his ice rink in Volgograd closed he moved alone to train in St. Petersburg. He is the first skater to perform a quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop-triple loop combination in 2002. Evgeni Plushenko is a three-time World Champion, and a six-time European Champion.