Scott Hamilton returns to Lake Placid for '80 Olympic celebrations

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A figure skating legend is back in our region to mark a major milestone. Two-time Olympian Scott Hamilton is here to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid.

Hamilton, who was the flag bearer for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 1980 Games and won the men's gold medal at the '84 Games, arrived at the Burlington International Airport early Monday afternoon ahead of making his way to Lake Placid. Hamilton, and most of the other members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic figure skating team, will be in Lake Placid for a reunion gala and dinner show set for Tuesday night. The event will include performances by several current U.S. figure skating champions.

Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m., prior to the gala, Hamilton will lead community members in "Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer," a skate-a-thon at the Olympic oval as a fundraiser for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to changing the future of cancer funding, research and patient care.

For Hamilton, who lost his mother to cancer and is a cancer survivor himself, it's a cause that fuels his drive every day.

"When I was skating, Dick Button said something that I'll never forget in my whole life. He said. 'In order to be considered great at anything, you have to leave whatever you do better than it was before.' Any work I do in skating and everything I do in cancer is -- how do I leave, just by my participation, by rallying the troops -- how do I make the cancer community better than it was before. And you can only really do that by elevating research and changing the way people are treated for cancer," Hamilton said.

"SK8 to Elimin8 Cancer" skate-a-thon has already raised over $55,000 for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation.