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Dick Button - Olympic Champion and Figure Skating Television Commentator


Dick Button in 1948

American figure skater Dick Button makes a sensational leap to win the gold medal in the Men's Singles Figure Skating Championships during the Olympic Games in St Moritz, 1948.

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Dick Button - Two-Time Olympic Figure Skating Champion:

Dick Button won the Men's Olympic figure skating title in 1948 and in 1952. He was the first American to win an Olympic ice skating title and the only American to win two Olympic gold medals in figure skating.

One of the Greatest Figure Skaters in History:

Many say that Dick Button is the greatest figure skater in history.

Famous for Two Ice Skating Spins:

Dick Button invented the flying camel spin. That spin, the flying camel, was originally called the "Button Camel." He was also the first man to perform the camel spin.

First Double Axel:

Dick Button was the first ice skater to land a double axel in competition.

First Triple Jump:

In 1952, Button became the first skater to land a triple jump in competition. The jump he performed was the triple loop.

Birthdate and Place of Birth:

Dick Button was born on July 18, 1929 in Englewood, New Jersey.

Dick Button: Talented Teenage Figure Skater:

Dick Button began figure skating seriously when he was thirteen years old. He showed great talent and won the U.S. National Novice Men's Champion when he was fourteen.

U.S. Men's Champion and World Champion:

Button won the United States Men's title for seven years in a row and won the world figure skating title for five years in a row.

Ice Show Star:

After winning the Olympics in 1952, Button stared with both Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice.


Dick Button graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

Sports Commentator:

In 1962, Button began commentating on figure skating for television. He is the most well-known ice skating sports commentator in U.S. history.

U.S. and World Figure Skating Halls of Fame:

In 1976, Dick Button was inducted into both the United States and the World Figure Skating Halls of Fame.

James E. Sullivan Memorial Award:

Dick Button is one of the only figure skaters to be awarded the Sullivan Award. It is an award that is given annually to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Button received this award in 1949. Michelle Kwan and Sarah Hughes have also won the Sullivan Award.

Creator of the World Professional Figure Skating Championships:

Dick Button founded the World Professional Figure Skating Championships in 1973. He also founded Candid Productions, a company that produces sporting events made especially for televison. The World Professional Figure Skating Championship was just one of the events Button created.

Brain Inury:

In early 2000, Button fell on the ice and suffered a brain injury. He needed inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, but made a complete recovery. He is a spokesman for the Brain Injury Association of America.

Learn to Skate With Dick Button:

On a cold February morning in the 1950s, Dick Button recorded an album called "Learn to Skate With Dick Button" at the Wollman outdoor ice rink in Central Park, New York City. He skated while recording the album.

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