Scott Hamilton returns to Ice Arena for charity

Skate+for+Hope

Skate for Hope

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

Scott Hamilton returned to Bowling Green to host “Skate For Hope”, an event which raised $36,000 for breast cancer research and awareness.

The 11th anniversary of Skate For Hope took place Saturday night at the Ice Arena

Hamilton, an Olympic gold medalist, walked through the doors again where he said his journey as a figure skater first began. Fellow gold medalist, Sarah Hughes, joined Hamilton to host the event.

A cancer survivor himself and first-time Skate For Hope participant, Hamilton said the night reminded him how great the crowds are at the University.

“It means something to come together as a community to fight back,” Hamilton said. “To support these children raising money, emotionally it just fills my heart that no one’s even close to giving up. It’s all about fighting back … you’re showing the world that you’re not going to take it sitting down.”

Hamilton said one of the best things about the event is how it empowers the children who raised money to share the ice with the figure skating headliners.

“I think the biggest impact besides the money raised is who raised it,” Hamilton said. “They understand that they’re not just kids; they actually can have an impact and I think that’s a really powerful thing for a child to understand and experience.”

Fourteen-year-old Anika Haian participated in Skate For Hope for her fifth time this year. The Columbus, Ohio native said she had grandparents who were affected by cancer.

“It was great raising awareness for cancer because I know people don’t usually get this opportunity or have the money to find a cure,” Haian said.

Haian uses the event to reap the benefits of working with top professionals in her field.

“I loved meeting the headliners and getting little bits of their mind and their encouragement for me to excel in the sport,” she said.

Olympian Emily Hughes participated in the event for the tenth year on Saturday. She and her sister Sarah Hughes began skating in the event to honor their mother, a breast cancer survivor.

“Skate For Hope has been every year for me coming back. It’s great to be able to skate and do something that I love to do and be able to give back,” Hughes said. “My mom had breast cancer … a couple years back now, but every year it’s great for me to come back and skate for her.”

During the portion where the children handed medals to the cancer survivors they brought, the Hughes sister honored their mother with a medal as well.

“Usually the spotlight is on us so it’s really nice to give the spotlight to our mother,” Hughes said.

Hamilton also had a mother who was affected by breast cancer.

“[Skate For Hope] is for breast cancer,” Hamilton said. “My mother died of breast cancer so it feels great to know that Bowling Green is once again engaged in a figure skating way to fight back.”