Scott Hamilton: Without You, I Am Nothing.

***This post is in conjunction with the sports-themed Spin Cycle over at Sprite’s Keeper. Click here
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It’s not often that I notice huge cultural differences between Canada and the United States, but on the rare occasion that I do, they come as glaring slaps across my face.

In the three years I have lived in Canada, I have never experienced a Winter Olympics here until last month.

So, until last month, I never knew—never even entertained the idea—that it would be so devastating to watch figure skating without Scott Hamilton’s commentary.

Scott Hamilton, you may look like a creepy pedophile (note: Scott Hamilton is NOT, to my knowledge, a creepy pedophile) but you were a dadgum good figure skating analyser.

Yes, my friends, CBS does not broadcast in Canada, which means Scott Hamilton’s assessment of figure skaters does not play over the airwaves in this country. ‘Tis a sad, sad truth.

You know the adage, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone?” Well, that applies to my relationship with Scott Hamilton. See, I grew up watching the figure skating during the Winter Olympics—my mom never let me miss a routine. And inasmuch as it was two years before I was born that Scott Hamilton won his gold in the most perfectly skated routine ever seen by man, by the time I was old enough to watch the Olympics, he was the commentator (and has been ever since).

So I’ve always had a Scott Hamilton to call my own, but when I was a kid, I didn’t realise just how much that would mean to me. I distinctly remember getting so angry with the voice on TV telling us all what to think about the performances going on. I mean, I thought they all looked good (except when they fell—that, I could tell was bad), but there was this faceless voice on the TV telling me that, nope, that triple lutz was incomplete, and was it just him, or was that girl’s form getting sloppier each year.  One time I exploded at my mother: “WHO DOES HE EVEN THINK HE IS? Why does he get to be so mean about these routines? I think they look great; what does he know?”

“Camille,” she said in a sage, motherly voice, “that man is the best male figure skater ever to walk the earth. He gets to say those things because he knows.”

Oh.  I felt dumb.

From that point on, I never doubted Scott Hamilton’s expertise. I’m sorry, Scott Hamilton, that I ever doubted you.

So last month, I waited for the figure skating routines with my usual anticipation, and when the big day finally rolled around, I went to the store and bought a new case of DDP for me and some chocolate bars for my mother-in-law (all the usual preparations for a television marathon), and drove over to her house to watch my favourite sport of the entire Olympic games…

…but something wasn’t right. It took me a routine or two to figure it out, but when I finally realised that Scott Hamilton was not and would never be a commentator for the Canadian Television company, I fell into a deep, unprecedented depression.

“How can I live in a country like this, with no Scott Hamilton to tell me what to think,” I asked myself. “How can I exist in such a state? This is no way to live. These announcers don’t even get critical; they don’t even try to sound like experts. They’re so nice! Where’s Scott Hamilton? I miss him! I love him!

True, declaring my undying love for a man who reached his peak two years before I was born (a man I’ve never met, by the way) might not have been my proudest psychological moment. But it was how I felt. Without Scott Hamilton, the Olympics were just another prime time television show. I stayed and watched them all, of course. I took them all in. But it wasn’t the same.  I tried to be my own Scott Hamilton, asking myself when the USA girls skated if, out of the entire American country, that was really the best we had. I even cheered when the Italian girl fell not one, not two, not three, but FOUR glorious, glaring times, but without Scott Hamilton, I could feel no real joy.

After my DDP had been consumed, and the days of figure skating were over, I pondered my unexpected predicament: What am I to do? How can I live in a country where the announcers sit quietly, respectfully, as we all watch in awestruck horror at the Italian girl’s exceptional failure? How can I suffer through another Winter Olympics without my dear old pal, Scott Hamilton?

I don’t have an answer to that question. All I can think is, I had better be living in the USA four years from now, or I will probably have an existential meltdown.

Wait for me, Scott Hamilton. Just…wait for me.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in Canada, change, failures, fiascos, I hate change, mediocrity, oh brother what next, sad things and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Scott Hamilton: Without You, I Am Nothing.

  1. geevz says:

    He is the only male figure skater whose name I actually know. I remember watching him as a kid in some non Olympic thing because he did backflips! On ice skates! Way better than the spins

    I’m deeply sorry for your loss though. I now know how much he meant to you :)

  2. Jordan says:

    I usually read your blog through reader so I just noticed your changed background and header! I’m a fan, mostly because I hate that pink mauve color you had going on before. sorry. This is much better.

    Anyway, is it actually a possibility that you’ll move back to the US? I mean with PK, not because of a divorce or something!
    Have you ever written a post about how you and PK met, with him living in Canada and you in AZ? I’ve only been a reader for less than a year, so I’m sure I missed it if you did. Maybe I’ll go do some archive searching right now. Haha, searching the archives on Archives…..

  3. molly says:

    Funny. You are a pretty die hard olympic watcher, eh?

  4. Seeing as I was able to hear Scott Hamilton’s commentary, I have to say, you did miss a lot. He called Evan L’s victory before the Russian ever left the ice. Historic. :-)
    I did see him skate live in a Smucker’s traveling show. He did the back flip. Twice. Magical. (I’m being completely serious.) You’re linked!

  5. Chloe says:

    I’ve never heard about this man. Obviously. I’m from Spain.
    So the only thing I can say is about what he looks like. And you’re right, Camille: he looks like a creepy pedophile! haha

  6. I know that our networks picked up his commentary. In fact some radio stations mocked his enthusiasm and would place bets on what he would get excited about next. So sorry that you couldn’t hear his commentary.

  7. Jacki says:

    You are totally right. His commentary makes the ice skating so enjoyable at the Olympics. I am sure you can get the reruns on You Tube. I remember when he won his Gold Medal. He did that famous back flip in the exhibition skate. That really blew me out of my seat.

  8. Amy says:

    Ugh! That is tragic! I’m sorry, Camille. In 2014, I hope you’re holed up somewhere in the US with some DDP and Scott Hamilton via NBC.

    Scott’s actually a really great guy. He and his family are really active in the church down here and do a lot of great things for the area.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Duh!!! Of course that’s the answer. You need to BE LIVING HERE in four years. Get working on your bestseller. You have just enough time.

  10. dunno says:

    really? no CBS? i think i get it here, but i have a LOT of cable, US stations and such..can’t keep up with it. Yeah, i remember those backflips too…excellent skater. Didn’t know he was in the church.

  11. GRANMAMA says:

    I have to admit, I hardly could enjoy the winter olympics without you here to help critique each event. It wasn’t the same. I love the skaters but actually fell asleep in the men’s programs. I agree with ANONYMOUS—-you need to be living here in 4 years so that we can watch them together.
    Ta Amo

  12. Carmen says:

    I too grew up watching skating and remember Scott Hamilton fondly. Both my sisters were figure skaters (me, it just wasn’t my thing – hated it actually) but loved to watch it on t.v. I throughly enjoyed watching figure skating growing up but haven’t watched it in years. We should watch them together sometime.

  13. Maureen says:

    Oh, Scott Hamilton. I love him as well. He’s fantastic. I wish I could remember more of what he said on the commentary so I could tell you, but I suppose I take him for granted a bit myself.

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