Dick Button
United States figure skater, sports personality, actor, lawyer
Dick Button
Richard Totten "Dick" Button is an American former figure skater and a well-known long-time skating television analyst. He is a two-time Olympic Champion (1948, 1952) and five-time World Champion (1948–1952). He is also the only non-European man to have become European Champion. Button is credited as having been the first skater to successfully land the double axel jump in competition in 1948, as well as the first triple jump of any kind – a triple loop – in 1952.
Biography
Dick Button's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Dick Button from around the web
Two Insider Books Take on Beauty Pageants and Figure Skating: The New Memoirs of Dick Button and Kate Shindle
Huffington Post - about 2 years
At the end of last month, on the same weekend, fans witnessed the coronation of two new queens. The first was ice princess Ashley Wagner, crowned the U.S. figure skating champion for the third time; the second was Miss Universe Paulina Vega from Colombia. The insights of two insiders who recently penned books on the glittery subcultures of pageantry and figure skating help us understand why these competitions endure among a committed group of fans despite flagging general popularity. Dick Button is one of the most successful figure skaters of all time, winning two Olympic gold medals and five U.S. national championships. With a decades-long career as a sports broadcaster and two Harvard degrees, he's about as insider as you can get when it comes to figure skating. In his self-published Push Dick's Button: A Conversation on Skating from a Good Part of the Last Century -- and a Little Tomfoolery , Button details why he thinks the current scoring system (that favors tricks) and judging ...
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Huffington Post article
Brian Boitano Never Planned To Come Out
Huffington Post Sports - about 3 years
BOSTON (AP) — Brian Boitano never intended to publicly reveal he is gay until he was chosen for the U.S. Olympic delegation by President Barack Obama last month. Calling himself "a private guy," Boitano told The Associated Press on Thursday that he never planned to come out. But moments before his presence on the delegation was revealed, Boitano realized what a powerful statement the president was making. Obama chose openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow for the delegation, as well. Boitano said his decision to say "being gay is just one part of who I am" in a statement on Dec. 19 "literally came to fruition" moments before the White House announced the makeup of the delegation. "I don't feel that I can represent the country without revealing this incredible side of myself," Boitano said. "This is an important moment, and to represent my country in Russia, it's a platform that is so important for me." The 1988 Olympic gold medalist hopes other countries will make ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
For Disgraced Athletes, Wrath of Zeus
Wall Street Journal - over 4 years
The ancient Olympics immortalized cheaters in stone, and we could do the same for today's transgressors, says Rick Burton.
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Wall Street Journal article
Medvedev Visits Sochi; Paralympic Chief Supports Pistorius; Gold Medalists ... - Around the Rings (subscription)
Google News - over 5 years
(ORDA) A special tribute featuring fellow two-time Olympic champ Dick Button, 1972 Olympian Janet Lynn, 1984 bronze medalists Larisa Selezneva and Oleg Markarov, 1980 Olympian Lorna Wighton-Aldridge and 2007 Swiss ice dance champion David De Fazio is
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Google News article
Beverly Jones Cox, former Director of Exhibitions and Collections Management ... - Washington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Dick Button…it was terrific. Going to all of the Halls of Fame of Sport all over the country, that was really a lot of fun. We even had a 1936 Maserati that belonged to Wilbur Shaw when he won the Indianapolis 500. I got to go on the racetrack at the
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Google News article
Ms. Kwan Goes to Washington - Chicago Breaking Sports - Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
"I always looked at Dick Button (Harvard) and Tenley Albright (Harvard) and Debi Thomas (Stanford),'' she said. "You emulate them.'' Albright and Thomas are medical doctors. Kwan was made an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters last year at Southern
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Google News article
Brooke Shields' grandfather featured in new book “The Wimbledon finale that ... - TennisGrandstand
Google News - over 5 years
... Harold Blauer, Bjorn Borg, Ray Bolger, Jean Borotra, Henry Breck, John Bromwich, Louis Brough, Don Budge, Jacques Brugnon, Eddie Burns, Jr., Bob Burton, Dick Button, Eddie Cantor, Oleg Cassini, Michael Chang, Charlie Chaplin, Ty Cobb, Henri Cochet,
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Google News article
Ukiah's favorite cheerleader dies at 88 - Ukiah Daily Journal
Google News - almost 6 years
Erickson was writing about the US figure-skating championships when Dick Button (well known network skating announcer) won his first national championship and also covered the Russian gymnastics team which included Olympic medalist Olga Korbut
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Google News article
DWTS Season 12 Scoring Controversy: Romeo & Chelsie Still Believe Guest Judge ... - Wetpaint
Google News - almost 6 years
Just last fall on DWTS' ugly stepcousin, Skating With the Stars, judge Dick Button held up an 8 but said 7 and there was some confusion about what the heck he wanted. As Brooke put it last night, it's live television and these things happen
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Google News article
Top Chef Masters Review: Let Them Eat Bugs! - Poptimal.com
Google News - almost 6 years
He's like the Dick Button of food shows. When the best dishes of the night are reveled, with over 80% of the diners votes, it's Suvir's chickpea-potato-yogurt chaat salad and Naomi's celery soup with salsa verde and lemon oil. People seemed to be taken
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Google News article
What's On Today
NYTimes - about 6 years
9 P.M. (National Geographic) RESTREPO: AFGHAN OUTPOST In this 90-minute documentary, filmed from May 2007 to July 2008, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington focus their cameras on the 15 men of a remote outpost in the Korangal Valley of Afghanistan, named after Pfc. Juan S. Restrepo, a medic who was killed early in the deployment. The film, which
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NYTimes article
What's On Sunday
NYTimes - almost 7 years
8 P.M. (Discovery, Animal Planet) LIFEOprah Winfrey narrates this 11-part nature series, which explores the adaptability and diversity of life on earth -- culling among the 30 million or so animal and plant species here -- from the spectacular to the downright bizarre. Images were captured in high definition using equipment like a ''yogi cam,''
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NYTimes article
What's On Today
NYTimes - almost 7 years
8 P.M. (ABC) THIN ICE Sure, they can skate to form at the Olympics. But can they actually entertain us? That's the premise of this two-part competition in which professional figure skaters perform live from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut for prizes that total $220,000. Ten competitors from the women's, men's, pairs and dance disciplines
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NYTimes article
INSIDE THE RINGS; On Skating Radio, Experts Mix a Little Fun With the Games
NYTimes - about 7 years
When Maylin Hausch of Germany took the ice for the Olympic pairs short program, the briefs of her costume seemed to be made of tin foil. This did not go unnoticed by the irreverent team on the in-house figure skating radio network, known as Axel Radio. ''Three minutes in a microwave, and you've got a baked potato,'' Jamie McGrigor, one of the
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NYTimes article
On Plushenko's Heels, and Standing Strong
NYTimes - about 7 years
On the eve of the men's free skate, one that promises to be one of the closest, most exciting in Olympic history, the top six skaters practiced together Wednesday. Each was dressed from head to toe in black. Each wore a steely look, running through his long program. But Russia's Yevgeny Plushenko, the defending Olympic champion known for his cool
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NYTimes article
INSIDE THE RINGS; Artistry at Root of Latest Controversy
NYTimes - about 7 years
Figure skating has yet to begin at the Winter Olympics, and already strange things are happening. O.K., not as strange as Lindsey Vonn wrapping her ailing shin with Austrian cheese curd, but strange nonetheless. The cold war ended two decades ago, except somebody forgot to tell the people involved in figure skating. The East German judges are long
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NYTimes article
What's On Today
NYTimes - about 7 years
7:30 P.M. (NBC) 2010 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES The 21st Winter Games will open indoors at the B.C. Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a ceremony that John Furlong, the chief executive of the city's organizing committee, says will ''tell the story of a contemporary Canada that will inspire the world.'' Though details have been guarded, the focus
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NYTimes article
INSIDE THE RINGS; Hopes Rest on Comeback By a Rejuvenated Cohen
NYTimes - about 7 years
Desperate to restore a pulse to a flatlining sport, U.S. Figure Skating and NBC built their promotions for the national championships around the resuscitation of Sasha Cohen. It might have seemed a curious strategy, considering that Cohen, 25, had not performed in Olympic-style competitions in four years. On the other hand, she might be the only
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NYTimes article
INSIDE THE RINGS; Birds of a Feather Wear Bad Costumes Together
NYTimes - about 7 years
Memo to Evan Lysacek: Nobody ever won the Olympics dressed as a magpie. It was with a restrained fashion sense that Lysacek avoided feathered wrists for his ''Firebird'' short program Friday night at the United States figure skating championships, even if a tuft still fluttered on his shoulder. At Skate America in November, Lysacek flapped his arms
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dick Button
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2010
    Age 80
    He again appeared on NBC to do commentary for 2010 Games.
    More Details Hide Details Button was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1976, the same year it was founded. Button graduated from Harvard University in 1952 where he was a member of The Delphic Club. He received a JD degree from Harvard Law School in 1956.
    In late 2010, he was lead judge on Skating with the Stars, produced by BBC Worldwide, producers of Dancing with the Stars.
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  • 2009
    Age 79
    In 2009, Button served as a judge on the CBC's Battle of the Blades reality show.
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  • 2006
    Age 76
    During the 2006 Games, Button appeared on loan from ABC to once again provide commentary on the Olympics. Also during the 2006 Winter Olympics, USA Network ran a show called Olympic Ice. A recurring segment, called "Push Dick's Button," invited viewers to send in questions which Button answered on the air. The segment proved very popular so ABC and ESPN put it into various broadcasts, most notably the 2006 Skate America, the 2007 United States Figure Skating Championships, and the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1981
    Age 51
    He won an Emmy Award in 1981 for Outstanding Sports Personality – Analyst.
    More Details Hide Details Although other U.S. television networks aired the Winter Olympics from the 1990s onward, Button still appeared on ABC's broadcasts of the U.S. and World Figure Skating Championships until ABC removed them from its broadcast schedule in 2008. His reputation and influence in the sport of figure skating therefore long outlasted his own competitive and performing career.
  • FORTIES
  • 1975
    Age 45
    In 1975, Button married figure skating coach Slavka Kohout; the couple later divorced.
    More Details Hide Details He has two children, Edward and Emily. Button suffered a serious head injury on July 5, 1978 when he was one of several men assaulted in Central Park by a gang of youths armed with baseball bats. Three persons were subsequently convicted of assault for the attacks. News accounts and trial testimony indicated the assailants were intending to target gay people, but the victims were attacked at random, and that because of the random nature of the attacks "... the police said there was no reason to believe the victims were homosexual." On December 31, 2000, Button was skating at a public rink in New York State when he fell, fracturing his skull and causing a serious brain injury. He recovered and became a national spokesman for the Brain Injury Association of America as well as continuing his Emmy Award-winning commentary for the broadcasts of The Olympic Games, and various figure skating television shows.
  • 1972
    Age 42
    Button later passed on this trophy to John Misha Petkevich following the 1972 Olympics and World Championships.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1964
    Age 34
    Following his retirement from competition, Button signed on to skate with the Ice Capades during his law school vacations. He toured with Holiday on Ice. He co-produced "Dick Button's Ice-Travaganza" for the 1964 New York World's Fair, starring 1963 World Champion Donald McPherson, but the ice show lost money and closed after a few months.
    More Details Hide Details As founder of Candid Productions, he created a variety of made-for-television sports events, including the World Professional Figure Skating Championships, Challenge of Champions, Dorothy Hamill specials for HBO. As an actor, Button performed in such films as The Young Doctors and The Bad News Bears Go to Japan starring Tony Curtis. He appeared in television roles, including Hans Brinker and Mr. Broadway. He made appearances on such television series as Omnibus, Art Linkletter's House Party, Beverly Hills 90210 and Animaniacs. Onstage, he starred in touring productions of Call Me Madam, On the Town, Girl Crazy, Pal Joey and The Teahouse of the August Moon, as well as in the New York City Center revivals of Mister Roberts and South Pacific, among others.
  • 1962
    Age 32
    Beginning in 1962, he worked as a figure skating analyst for ABC Sports, which had acquired the rights to the United States Figure Skating Championships as well as the 1962 World Figure Skating Championships.
    More Details Hide Details During ABC's coverage of figure skating events in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Button became the sport's best-known analyst, well known for his frank and often caustic appraisal of skaters' performances.
  • 1961
    Age 31
    He did commentary for CBS's broadcast of the 1961 United States Figure Skating Championships.
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  • 1960
    Age 30
    Button provided commentary for CBS's broadcast of the 1960 Winter Olympics, launching a decades-long career in television broadcast journalism.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1952
    Age 22
    Button decided to enter Harvard Law School in the fall of 1952.
    More Details Hide Details Because of the time commitments, Button retired from amateur skating that year to focus on law school. He completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree and was admitted to the bar in Washington, D.C..
    He then went on to defend his titles at the 1952 World Figure Skating Championships and U.S. Championships.
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    At the 1952 Winter Olympics, Button had the lead after figures, with 9 first places, over Helmut Seibt.
    More Details Hide Details Button's point total was 1,000.2 to Seibt's 957.7. During his free skate, Button successfully landed the triple loop, becoming the first person to complete a triple jump in competition.
  • 1951
    Age 21
    Button landed it for the first time in practice in December 1951 at the Skating Club of Boston, and for the first time in exhibition in Vienna following the European Championships.
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    In 1951, he performed a double axel-double loop combination and a double axel-double axel sequence.
    More Details Hide Details For the 1952 Winter Olympics, Button and Lussi began working on a triple jump. They settled on training the triple loop.
  • 1950
    Age 20
    In 1950, he performed the double loop-double loop-double loop.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1949
    Age 19
    In 1949, he performed a double loop-double loop combination.
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    In 1949, Button won the Sullivan Award as the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.
    More Details Hide Details He is one of only two male figure skaters to win this award. Evan Lysacek is the other. Button had intended to attend Yale University beginning in the fall of 1947, but deferred a year due to the Olympics. Although he had originally been assured that his skating would not be a problem as long as his grades were good, he was later informed that he could not continue competing if he wanted to attend Yale. On advice from people from the Skating Club of Boston, Button applied to, and was accepted at, Harvard College. Button was a full-time student at Harvard while skating competitively and graduated in 1952 and was a member of The Delphic Club, one of the University's select "Final Clubs". He won every competition he entered for the rest of his competitive career. He trained at the Skating Club of Boston while attending Harvard, commuting to Lake Placid during breaks.
  • 1948
    Age 18
    In February 1948, Button, his coach, and his mother were in Prague to perform an exhibition.
    More Details Hide Details They were stranded there after the Communist uprising and had to be extracted by the U.S. Army.
    He went on to win the 1948 World Championships, where he faced Gerschwiler for the last time.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    At the 1948 Winter Olympics, Button led Gerschwiler by a 29.6 point lead following the figures portion of the competition, having won four of the five figures.
    More Details Hide Details Button had been attempting the double axel jump in practice but had never landed it. In practice on the day before the free skating event, Button landed one in practice for the first time. He decided to put it into his free skate for the next day. Button landed it in competition, becoming the first skater in the world to do so. Button received eight firsts and two seconds, for a total of 10 places. Gerschwiler had 23. That combined with the figures results gave Button the gold medal. He became, and remains, the youngest man to win the Olympic gold in figure skating.
    Button faced Gerschwiler again at the 1948 European Figure Skating Championships.
    More Details Hide Details Button led after figures in points, having 749 points to Gerschwiler's 747.8, but Gerschwiler led in placings, with 14 to Button's 15. During the free skate, Button performed his Olympic program for the first time. He won, with 11 placings to Gerschwiler's 18. Following this year, when North Americans took home the men's and ladies' titles, non-Europeans were no longer allowed to enter into the European Championships. Button is the only American to have won the European Championships.
  • 1947
    Age 17
    At the 1947 World Championships, Button was second behind rival Hans Gerschwiler following the compulsory figures part of the competition, with 34.9 points separating them.
    More Details Hide Details He won the free skating portion, but Gerschwiler had the majority of first places from the judges, three to Button's two. Button won the silver medal at his first World Championships. It was the last time he placed lower than first in competition. At the competition, Button was befriended by Ulrich Salchow. Salchow, who was disappointed when Button did not win, presented him with the first International Cup Salchow had won in 1901.
    This win earned Button a spot at the 1947 World Championships.
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  • 1946
    Age 16
    Button won the 1946 U.S. Championships at age 16, winning by a unanimous vote.
    More Details Hide Details According to Button, this was the first time anyone had won the men's novice, junior, and senior titles in three consecutive years.
    This competition, where Button also competed as a single skater, led into the 1946 U.S. Championships.
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    He was also skating pairs, and competed with Barbara Jones in Junior Pairs at the 1946 Eastern States Championships.
    More Details Hide Details They performed Button's singles program side by side with minor modifications and won.
  • 1945
    Age 15
    In 1945, his third year of serious skating, he won the Eastern States Senior title and the national Junior title.
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  • 1944
    Age 14
    In 1944, he won the Eastern States Junior title which earned him the opportunity to compete at the National Novice Championships.
    More Details Hide Details He won the event.
  • 1943
    Age 13
    In his first competition, the 1943 Eastern States Novice Championship, he placed second behind Jean-Pierre Brunet.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1929
    Born
    Born on July 18, 1929.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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