The Skating Club of Boston is teaming up with Olympian Scott Hamilton’s CARES Foundation to bring a spirit of charity to a favorite seasonal pastime with Sk8 to Elimin8 Cancer.
The event, which takes place Dec. 1 at The Skating Club’s Brighton facility, features some of Boston’s top skating talent, ice games and a Lap-a-thon, where you can race against professional skaters. All proceeds from the event will go toward supporting cancer research, education and survivorship.
Hamilton is no stranger to Boston. As a child, he was treated at Boston Children's Hospital and spent time in the area whenever he visited his grandparents in Weymouth. He also skated at The Skating Club in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in the longest running ice show in the country, “Ice Chips."
In addition to this weekend’s event at The Skating Club, Hamilton will serve as a host at the free Tree Lighting Skating Spectacular at the Frog Pond on Nov. 30, where everyone is invited to see some of the best local, national and international skaters.
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We spoke with the Olympic gold medalistand three-time cancer survivor about the event and whether or not we’ll get a look at his ice skating skills any time soon.
Why did you start your foundation?
I survived cancer 20 years ago and I realized how many gaps and how many holes there are in the patient experience for surviving cancer. As part of a new identity in cancer activism, I decided that CARES was really going to be about being in alliance, really lining up with other people to link arts and to share resources and best practices. We want to elevate research scientists to give them what they need in order to be successful.
What advice would you give to cancer patients?
For survivors, it’s an extraordinary feeling to know that you are now much stronger, much more resilient and much more powerful than you ever thought you could be in your life. Anyone who’s been diagnosed with cancer while they are on this planet is a cancer survivor. It’s an amazing thing to see that group of people come together in order to make it better for the next person facing that diagnosis. Survivorship is probably one of the best alumni associations going.
What was it like working with The Skating Club?
It seems like Boston has become the center of the universe for U.S. figure skating. They held a very successful U.S. National Figure Skating Championship and they recently held a World Championship that was very well-attended, extremely well-organized. We were hoping that if we come to Boston, it would be exactly what happened during the World Championship. That is as good as it gets.
Will guests get a chance to see your moves on the ice?
That ship has pretty much sailed. I’m not the same physical person I was back then. My brain still remembers it but every cell in my body has been replaced since I skated. The rest of my body except my brain is just saying, “No, no, no. Not going to happen, dude. Sorry. Not going to happen.” I don’t want to write checks my body can’t cash. I know that I love getting out onto the ice and skating around and just enjoying that but gravity is a cruel thing and I’m not going to defy it again.
Where do you plan on visiting while you’re in town?
Just going back to Mass General, Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s will bring back a lot of really powerful memories. I have so many great memories of Christmases in Weymouth, going to Marblehead and all those places where my family has lived, and it’d be great to get up there and just relive all that.
If you go:
Dec. 1, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., The Skating Club of Boston, 1240 Soldiers Field Rd., Boston, $10-$15, scboston.org