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Richard Totten "Dick" Button (born , in , ) is an former and a well-known long-time skating analyst.

Button was a two-time Olympic champion (1948 and 1952) and is credited as having been the first skater to successfully land the jump in competition in 1948, as well as the first triple jump of any kind -- a triple -- in 1952. He also invented the flying , which was originally known as the "Button camel". Soon after, Button's father sent him to New York to take lessons from ice dancing coach . He trained over the summer in , eventually switching on Carroll's recommendation to coach , who coached Button for the rest of his career.

In his first competition, the 1943 Eastern States Novice Championship, he placed second behind . He became, and remains, the youngest man to win the Olympic gold in figure skating. Button went on to the 1948 World Championships, where he faced Gerschwiler for the last time. Button won the event. At the time, the U.S. Championships were held after the World Championships, and Button finished his season by defending his national title.

In February 1948, Button, his coach, and his mother were in to perform an exhibition. They were stranded there after the uprising and had to be extracted by the . After graduation, he was admitted to the bar in .

In 1975, Button married figure skating coach , but they later divorced.


Button suffered a serious head injury on July 5, 1978 when he was one of several men randomly ed in by a gang of youths armed with baseball bats and tree branches in a incident. According to reports in , Button had been jogging in the park near his home and was attacked while he was watching a dusk fireworks display. The assailants were later apprehended.

Push Dick's ButtonEdit

During the , USA Network ran a show called . A recurring segment invited viewers to send in questions and Dick Button would answer them on the air.

This segment proved very popular, and ABC and ESPN have continued it, putting it into various broadcasts, most notably , the , and the .

FirstsEdit

  • First skater to land a .[1]
  • First skater to land a triple jump (a )[1]
  • First male skater to perform the and inventor of the flying camel spin (also known as the Button Camel, after him)
  • Only American to win the .[2]
  • First American .
  • First American to win the Olympic title in figure skating.
  • First and only American back-to-back Olympic champion in figure skating.[1]
  • First and only male skater to simultaneously hold all the following titles: , , , , and .[1]
  • Youngest man to win the Olympic title in figure skating (age 18).[1]

Competitive highlightsEdit

Event/Season 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952
1st 1st
2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
1st
1st 1st 1st
1st N. 1st J. 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
  • N = Novice level; J = Junior level

ReferencesEdit

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named usoc
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named onskates


External linksEdit

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