American figure skater, Tonya Harding, was the 1991 and 1994 US champion but her 1994 title was taken away after a controversy erupted regarding her ex-husband. He was charged with planning an attack on a rival American skater, Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya Harding was banned for life by the US Figure Skating Association after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Known for his innovative footwork sequences, Scott Hamilton is a retired figure skater, credited with imbibing an air of athleticism into men’s figure skating. Remembered for winning four consecutive U.S. championships and four World Championships between 1981 and 1984, topping his feat with a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, he later co-founded Stars on Ice—a touring figure skating show—and authored three books.
Dorothy Hamill is a retired figure skater whose efforts gave the United States of America an Olympic gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics. Despite suffering from chronic depression for much of her adult life, Dorothy Hamill served as a mentor to Rachael Flatt, who won the gold medal at the 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
Former figure skater Debi Thomas is also an Olympic bronze medalist. She began skating at 5 and participated in her first figure-skating contest at 9. A Stanford engineer and a qualified orthopedic surgeon, too, Thomas surprisingly ended up being broke and began living in a trailer in the Appalachian mountains.
American figure skating champion Johnny Weir is also a two-time Olympian and has several medals in his kitty, including a bronze in the 2008 World Championship. The son of a nuclear engineer father, he was a skilled equestrian before he began training in skating at 12.
Olympic figure-skating champion Tenley Albright was also a Harvard Medical School alumna and a qualified surgeon. A bout of mild polio in childhood couldn’t deter her spirit, and she ended up becoming the first female figure skater from the U.S. to win a gold medal at the Olympics.